Brown Sugar Shortbread

These Brown Sugar Shortbread are a delicious Christmas cookie!  This is an ideal recipe for last minute cookie baking…bake half the batch now, and bake the other half later!  

Ok, who doesn’t love cookies?!  Especially Christmas cookies?  This time of year is delicious, isn’t it?  So to kick off my Christmas cookie baking, I made these Brown Sugar Shortbread cookies.  I like this little cookie because they are easy to make, and they are yum yummy!

The best thing about these cookies is that they are an icebox cookie which means you roll the dough into 2 inch logs and keep them in wax paper in the fridge…make a batch today, and make one tomorrow.  Or make a batch after everyone goes to bed…just sayin’

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Brown Sugar Shortbread {A Pretty Life}

Brown Sugar Shortbread



  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup chopped red & green glace cherries


  1. Cream the butter and brown sugar until it is very soft.
  2. Then add the flour, 1 cup at a time, and beat well each time.
  3. Chop the cherries in to small pieces, and add them to the batter. Mix well.
  4. You will find the dough quite dry, but don’t worry it’s supposed to be like that. Just mix the dough with your hands until if firms up into a ball.
  5. Once the dough is firm, roll it in wax paper to make a log 2″ in diameter. Wrap tightly. You may even want to split the dough into 2 logs. One batch to bake now, and one to bake later!
  6. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  7. When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Cut the log into 1/4″ slices, and bake for ~10 minutes.

(adapted from the Best of Bridge)

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Brown Sugar Shortbread {A Pretty Life}
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  • If you don’t like glace cherries, you can omit them, or add chopped up cranberries instead.
  • You can bake these as you need them.  Just pull a log out of the fridge when you are ready, and make a tray for today.  Make a tray tomorrow.
  • I actually like this cookie better the next day, after it has rested.
  • These are really yummy with at little Bailey’s on ice.  Yeeum.

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  • Reply Laurie December 9, 2011 at 6:05 PM

    They look delish! The dough itself would make a great gift too 🙂

  • Reply A Pretty Life in the Suburbs December 9, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    @Laurie What a great idea!! Love it!

  • Reply Yummy Mummy December 9, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    So pretty! I’m having a lot of fun photographing food with my tree behind too!

  • Reply my honest answer December 9, 2011 at 6:59 PM

    Ugh, I don’t love cookies! But only because I made some yesterday and OD’d on dough… It’s my own fault.

  • Reply Jennifurla December 9, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    These are really pretty and festive.

  • Reply Marina Lukyantseva-Haworth December 10, 2011 at 12:55 AM

    This does look delish and festive!

  • Reply Angie December 10, 2011 at 1:25 AM

    Oh my gosh… these look amazing!! Would love to try these out soon!

    I found you on TT&J and would love for you to come by and link this up and any other projects at my Create and Inspire Party.. I’m giving away a $25 Gift Card to Micheal’s if interested! 😉

    I’m now following and looking forward to your new posts!

    Angie from A Little Inspiration

  • Reply Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust December 10, 2011 at 4:15 AM

    Love this recipe! So simple and it sounds decadent. Yum!

  • Reply Stevie from December 10, 2011 at 6:00 AM

    that is just the best shortbread photo, with the cherries and the lights – love it! Oh, and the cookies look pretty darn good too.

  • Reply Allison December 10, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    These look delicious and festive. I think the dough would be a great hostess gift to bring during the holidays. Thanks for the inspiration. Yum!

  • Reply Screaming Sardine December 10, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    Yummmmm!!! I can’t wait to try the recipe. TFS.

    Pinning on pinterest. 🙂

    Tracy Screaming Sardine

  • Reply Loveforfood December 11, 2011 at 10:21 AM

    Oooo, I want these right now!

  • Reply Ali Richardson December 12, 2011 at 2:53 AM


  • Reply SUPAHMAMA! December 12, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    Don’t forget to link up to win the Eureka Vacuum and Kindle Fire at “The Sits Girls!!” I am grateful to be a fellow crafter in Creating Christmas, just thought you might like a chance to win big for being oh so fabulous. 🙂

  • Reply Maria December 13, 2011 at 2:48 AM

    These sound great, and that photo is just gorgeous!!!!

  • Reply Jenn @ Peas and Crayons December 13, 2011 at 3:23 AM

    I failed horribly at baking shortbread last year.. but your recipe makes me want to try again! so gorgeous!

  • Reply Amanda Joy December 13, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    Totally pinning this! They look gorgeous and delicious.

    Hopping over from Tip Junkie
    Amanda Joy

  • Reply elaine December 14, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    yum. and love the sparkly tree in the background 🙂

  • Reply ReMadeSimple Kristina December 16, 2011 at 3:55 AM

    Amazing those look so good love shortbread cookies.

  • Reply Angie Ramirez December 16, 2011 at 5:16 AM

    Hi Jo-Anna..stopping by again to say thanks for linking up at my create and inspire party!

    I’m featuring these yummy cookies later tonight!


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  • Reply Maggie K December 5, 2012 at 7:31 AM

    Last year I had a disastrous attempt at making sugar cookies. After that colossal failure, I scrambled for something to make in place of them and came across this recipe.
    Not only was it quick and easy, but they were so delicious!!! I used craisins instead of the cherries because that is what I had on hand. These are going to be a Christmas tradition for my family.
    Thank you, thank you!

  • Reply Jessica @ Dear Emmeline December 26, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    yum. these are almost too pretty to eat. they remind me of stained glass! I’d love for you to share them at my link party if you have a chance. Hope you are having a wonderful hoiliday!

  • Reply Stacie March 20, 2013 at 4:01 AM

    Did I miss the step where you add the brown sugar? I’m assuming it is with the butter. Unfortunately I assumed that AFTER I added the flour! :-s Oh well, they still tasted great!!!

  • Reply Donna November 3, 2014 at 7:21 PM

    What kind of flour? All purpose or self rising?

  • Reply Gina December 5, 2014 at 7:27 AM

    Hi! I’m making these cookies for Christmas! Do you use all-purpose flour? And is it 3/4 cup of EACH type of cherries or 3/4 cup total?


    • Reply Jo-Anna@APrettyLife December 5, 2014 at 10:18 AM

      Hi Gina! Yes I just use all purpose flour, and the recipe is for 3/4 cup combined of cherries. Happy Baking!

  • Reply Natalie December 13, 2017 at 2:20 PM

    I having been making this recipe for three years in a row. It has become one of my Christmas favourites.

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