Okay, so you need one more quick and easy holiday cookie? Really? The bars weren’t enough?

I hear you.

And I bring you shortbread.

In baking terms,”short” refers to a cookie that has a high proportion of fat to flour. From The Kitchn:

“Usually these short doughs are very rich, crumbly, and tender with butter. They tend to be crisp instead of chewy, and slightly sandy. Shortbread is the quintessential “short” dough”.

This cookie has it all. It’s a snap to pull together, with minimal ingredients.  It’s a dream to roll out and cut into shapes, making it a great cookie to bake with your kids (can you say “11 days off”?). And it is infinitely adaptable – from sweet to spicy, chocolaty and even savory, there is something for everyone.

Even easier? Shape the dough into a log, for the ultimate slice-and-bake. The unbaked dough freezes beautifully, so in one afternoon you can crank out several different “logs”, wrapped up and ready to go at a moment’s notice (once sliced, the unbaked cookies can go directly into the oven).


My favorite variety incorporates toasted coconut and lots of lime zest. The citrusy zest perfectly offsets all that buttery richness, and the little flecks are so pretty.

Does it get any better than this? I didn’t think so….


And on that note, I wanted to say “good bye” for a few days. I’m taking some time to really unwind, clear my head and be with my family – without any pressure to write, bake, shop or edit photos. Don’t worry though – I’ll be back next weekend with two recipes – one naughty, one nice – to serve all of your end-of-the-year celebration needs (and am I ever NOT on Instagram?).

Have a warm, loving, happy and peaceful holiday – and thank you for all of the support and encouragement you’ve shown me this past year. It’s been one of the best gifts ever.


Toasted Coconut and Lime Shortbread
from The New York Times

1/2 c. shredded unsweetened coconut, baked in a 325 degree oven till golden, about 5 minutes
1/2 lb. unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 c. (150 g.) sugar
2 T. lime zest
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 c. ( 7 1/2 oz.) flour
1/2 c. (2 1/2 oz. ) cornstarch
1/2 t. salt

Cream the butter and sugar in your mixer at low speed for about 30 seconds. With the mixer running beat in the lime zest and egg yolk, followed by the flour, cornstarch, toasted coconut and salt. Beat just until the mixture holds together.

Shape the dough into a log and refrigerate or freeze until firm, at least 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 275. Slice 1/4-inch cookies and place on baking sheets. Bake until cookies are barely firm, but still very tender, about 30 minutes – do not brown. Cool for a minute on the sheets before transferring cookies to a rack to cool completely.

(print this recipe)

This delicious recipe brought to you by Sheri Silver

for variations, click here.



  1. Marti on January 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    These cookies look delicious, I’m just now getting caught up on my reading so I hope you’ve had a wonderful Holiday with family and kids along with well deserved rest.
    Happy New Year!!!

    • sherisilver on January 3, 2013 at 6:52 pm

      Thanks so, so much – to you too! xo

  2. most lovely things on January 17, 2014 at 12:33 pm


    • sherisilver on January 17, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      Thanks Annie – one of my favorite recipes! xo

  3. Clara on December 31, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    This isn’t a new post, so I have no idea if you’ll ever see this comment, but these turned out so beautifully for me! Thank you for the excellent recipe! 🙂

    • sherisilver on December 31, 2015 at 2:55 pm

      I did see it and thank you SO much for writing! So glad you enjoyed the recipe; happy new year! 🙂

  4. Bethany on November 7, 2016 at 11:58 pm

    Hello Sheri,
    Just wondering if I could cook these at a higher temperature for a shorter period of time?? I’m keen to try them but don’t think I have the patience to wait 30 minutes for them.

    • sherisilver on November 8, 2016 at 11:38 am

      You could try – shortbread typically bakes “low and slow” as far as cookies go. You don’t want them to brown and you don’t want the butter to cook up. Maybe try a few at the higher temp and see how that works? Let me know! 🙂

  5. WWhite on November 14, 2016 at 12:09 am

    About how many cookies does this recipe make? How thick should the “log” be?

    • sherisilver on November 14, 2016 at 9:53 am

      There’s no set answer, really. I usually roll the log about 15 – 16 inches long, which makes a cookie that’s about 2″ in diameter. If you slice the cookies 1/4″ thick you’ll get between 5 and 6 dozen cookies. I hope that helps! 🙂

  6. Candy on June 21, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    How do you freeze these, and how long can they be frozen? Thanks!

    • sherisilver on June 22, 2017 at 6:23 am

      Once cool, I store in an airtight box or ziploc, layers separated with wax paper. They keep for several months that way (have not gone longer because we have no self control so I couldn’t say beyond that!) 🙂

      • Candy on June 22, 2017 at 9:10 am

        Thank you!

  7. Debra on November 26, 2017 at 8:48 am

    My new favorite cookie!

  8. ali on December 5, 2017 at 10:49 am

    hi there. once baked, do they stay well in the freezer for a week or so?

    • sherisilver on December 5, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      These will stay fresh for many weeks if wrapped tightly. I use clean shoeboxes and separate each layer with wax paper. Note that the higher the fat content of the cakes or cookies, the better they will keep frozen, so shortbread is a perfect cookie to freeze!

  9. Amanda on December 18, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    What type of cookie sheets?

  10. Kristen on December 22, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    For the lime zest, the recipe calls for 2 Tbsp?! Just want to make sure

  11. Jill Roberts on December 24, 2017 at 10:55 am

    I am definitely trying Toasted Coconut recipe! Looks so delicious!!!

    • sherisilver on December 26, 2017 at 7:59 am

      Please let me know if you do – so easy and SO delicious!

  12. Roberta on July 18, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    Is it possible to eliminate the cornstarch?

    • sherisilver on July 19, 2018 at 7:23 am

      You could – I’ve seen many shortbread recipes that don’t have it. I love the texture it lends but you can’t go wrong with just butter, flour and sugar! 🙂 I’d increase the flour to 2 cups; let me know how it turns out!

  13. Jess on December 9, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    Anyone else have trouble with this dough being incredibly dry?

    • sherisilver on December 9, 2018 at 7:24 pm

      So sorry you’re having trouble – I just made 2 batches of this so I’d love to know if the issue is with the unbaked dough, or if the cookies themselves are dry? If it’s the latter, shortbread dough does have a more “sandy” texture – it’s the nature of the cookie. They should be tender and melt in your mouth but will be more crisp to start, as opposed to a more traditional chocolate chip type cookie. This is due to the cornstarch. Let me know where the problem is; would love to help as these are one of my favorites!

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