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Embossed Shortbread Cookies

    This holiday season, step up your shortbread cookie game with an embossing rolling pin. These embossed shortbread cookies are easy to make and look amazing on a Christmas cookie platter. Give your cookies a personal twist!

    Shortbread cookies are always a favorite to cookie platters for Christmas. These pretty ones have added texture thanks to an embossed rolling pin. The shortbread cookie dough is quickly prepared, so you can focus on the essentials in the Christmas season.

    How to use an Embossed Rolling Pin

    As you can see in the photo, the embossed rolling pin has lots of intricate hollow areas. It’s important that your dough doesn’t get stuck in those small crevices.

    • Generously add flour to your rolling pin.
    • Ensure that your dough is cold and not sticky.
    • Only roll over the dough once! Do not go back and forth.

    Different embossed rolling pin patterns

    A photo of the simple shortbread cookies showing off the embossed flower pattern on them.

    What is the difference between Shortbread and Sugar Cookies?

    If you are used to baking (and eating) cookies, you will know that sugar cookies and shortbread cookies have a different flavor profile, different textures, and different ingredients.

    Shortbread cookies do not contain eggs. They are also baked longer and at a lower temperature, which gives them a more crumbly texture. Also, the dough is not elastic, so does not shrink when rolled out

    Butter Cookies are made from an equal kind of dough as shortbread, but eggs are added, along with a higher amount of fats, like butter. They are more elastic and usually more sugar in the recipe. Butter Cookies can be pipped out and still hold their shape.

    Designing your Embossed Cookies

    I love the look of the designs on these cookies. Adding the color to the glaze really helps to highlight the design. You can get really creative when it comes to brush up your old fashioned christmas cookies.

    I love the versatility of shortbread cookies. The flavor is mild which allows us to add flavor to the glaze, dip them in chocolate, or top them with buttercream.

    1. Chocolate-coated

    Here, I’ve dipped a few in melted chocolate and added some Christmas sprinkles for a fun pop or color. You can use any chocolate you like, as well as baking chocolate glaze.

    A photo of dipping the cookies into melted chocolate and then decorated with Christmas sprinkles.
    Shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate

    2. Classic Sugar Glaze

    This sugar glaze is light and thin. Think of a thin doughnut glaze and not a heavy royal icing glaze. To ensure a thin, even coat you will need to heat the water and sugar together in a frying pan.

    You can add a drop of extract to the glaze if you want to add in some flavor. Continue to turn the heat on as the mixture cools and hardens over and off when it melts completely again.

    3. Colored Sugar Glaze

    To get this lovely watercolor look, add a drop of gel food coloring to the sugar in the pan. Swirl the color a bit with a toothpick and then dip the cookie down into the glaze.

    If you want to go more natural, replace a part of the water with fruit essence or jam. Use coloful fruits, like strawberries, raspberries or blueberries.

    An overhead image of the embossed cookies on a cookie plater with a few on marble plates.

    Here’s a few more ways to enjoy your shortbread:

    At a glance – Quick Q&A

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    Also check out our collection of shortbread cookie recipes.

    4.50 from 78 votes

    Classic Embossed Shortbread Cookies

    Step up your Christmas shortbread cookies with an embossing rolling pin. These embossed cookies are easy to make and look amazing on a cookie platter.
    Prep Time 30 minutes
    Total Time 1 hour
    Course Cookie
    Cuisine American
    Servings 30 cookies
    Calories 108 kcal


    • 3 cups flour
    • ½ cups powdered sugar
    • 7 oz butter cold and cubed
    • 1 egg
    • dash of salt


    • Preheat the oven to 350 °F
    • Mix all the ingredients for the dough to form a ball. this works best with a kitchen machine.
    • Divide the ball into two or three smaller balls for easier work.
    • Roll out with a regular rolling pin between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap.
    • Flour the top of the dough and on the embossing rolling pin to prevent sticking.
    • Place the embossing pin and press and roll slowly and strongly to get a good imprint.
    • Cut the cookies with a cookie cutter. I used a 2-inch round biscuit cutter. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and place into the freezer for 15 -30 minutes to set the pattern.
    • Bake for 20 minutes.
      Cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack.
    • In a small frying pan, heat 1 C powdered sugar with 1/4 C water. Heat on low until melted and then remove from heat. Do NOT let the sugar glaze boil. If it crusts over, reheat and stir until all liquid again.
      Dip the cookies into the sugar glaze and dry overnight on a cooling rack. For some added color, add a few drops of food coloring and swirl with a toothpick. Dip the cookies in for a marbled effect.


    Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 108kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 51mg | Sugar: 3g

    Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

    Recipe Video

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    Author: Susan Queck
    Step up your shortbread cookie game with an embossing rolling pin. These embossed shortbread cookies are easy to make and look amazing on a cookie platter.

    Images, text and all other content Copyrighted©Karyn Granrud, Susanne Queck and Wunderlander Verlag LLC, or ©Pro Stock Media via Unlicensed republishing permitted. As an Amazon affiliate, we earn on qualified purchases.

    Susan Queck

    Susan Queck

    I'm Suzy, the baker and dessert maker behind this blog. Baking is my lifelong passion, where I find the magic in transforming basic ingredients into delectable works of art. Join me in my sweet journey of culinary exploration and celebration! More about me.

    4 thoughts on “Embossed Shortbread Cookies”

    1. This is an excellent dough. It rolls out very easily without sticking to the rolling pin at all. It holds the pattern well. The flavor is OK, but it absolutely needs vanilla. In the future, I will add 1 tsp. vanilla extract to the dough. The instructions aren’t complete, unless my dough didn’t behave properly. I used an electric hand mixer to make the dough, and it remained crumbly. I was easily able to form it into a ball with my hands, but it didn’t form a ball on its own.

    4.50 from 78 votes (78 ratings without comment)

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