Fall shortbread cookies are a must in our house to get ready for the baking season. This easy Fall shortbread cookie recipe makes two cookies with one dough. The first is Fall cutout cookies that make the best crisp shortbread topped with sprinkles or sugar and the second cookie is a shortbread cookie ball topped with a pecan and rolled in powdered sugar. These shortbread cutout cookies and cookie balls are so delicious and such a festive and easy way to celebrate Fall.
About this easy shortbread cookie recipe
This shortbread cookie recipe makes one dough and with that, two types of cookies. You get a crisp shortbread cutout cookie and a melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookie ball.
The cookie ball is made from the scraps from the cutout cookies so there is no need to re-roll here.
I really like this method of one dough that makes two cookies because it really saves time when you want a variety of cookies. I also do this at Christmas with my snowball cookies as well.
If you decide you want more of each type of cookie, just make a double batch of these and follow the steps for making the cookies below.
Ingredients you will need for this easy shortbread:
I really like making shortbread cookies with a mix of powdered sugar and regular granulated sugar. It just makes the perfect crisp shortbread that is just sweet enough but not overly sweet.
How to make:
- First, you want to cream the butter and sugar together until it is pale and slightly fluffy.
- Next, you will mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until the dough starts to look lumpy like in the picture above and it holds together when you squeeze it in your hand.
- Once the dough has been mixed together you just divide it in half and place it into some plastic wrap so it can chill in the refrigerator. The dough will seem crumbly when you first pull it out of the bowl but it will come together when pressed in the plastic wrap.
Rolling and shaping the Fall cookies
Now this is a shortbread cut-out cookie recipe so you will need to roll the dough out first so you can cut out your favorite Fall shapes in the dough. I have a bunch of Fall cookie cutters but I love Fall leaf cookies the most so that is mainly what I used.
I also had some Fall acorn and turkey cookie cutters so I added a few of those in as well.
For the shortbread cookie balls, you will gather the scraps from the Fall cutout cookies and start to roll them into little balls about the size of a nickel. After that, you will press in a large pecan piece on the top.
I really think this is the best Fall cookie recipe and the best shortbread recipe. You are getting two different shortbread cookies that are so different in texture and taste and all from one cookie dough.
The sugared shortbread cutout cookies are crisp and the shortbread cookie balls will just melt in your mouth.
Fall Cookie Decorating
Now I am all about really simple recipes and in baking that holds true even more. For these shortbread cookies, I used a Demerara sugar (coarse sugar) to make some of the cutout cookies into sugared shortbread.
I also use sparkly Fall sprinkles for the other Fall cutout cookies.
For the shortbread cookie balls, they are topped with a pecan and rolled in powdered sugar after baking.
If you want to get even more extravagant than I did and use icing to line your Fall cookies, go for it! I just think the Fall theme conveys enough with some basic Fall color in the sprinkles AND I am not great at icing cookies 🙂
You can use this easy shortbread recipe all year
This dough will work for any time of year including Christmas if you want to make Christmas shortbread cookies. Just swap out the Fall colored sprinkles for Christmas sprinkles.
The pecan addition to the cookie balls is to celebrate the pecans in the Fall but you leave these out for Christmas time if you prefer.
You can also make these with no holiday or season to celebrate. They are the perfect treat anytime and no excuses are needed to make these.
More like this
If you love these Fall shortbread cookies, you may also like these:
More Fall Cookie Recipes You May Like:
- Salted Shortbread Cookies
- Cardamom Cookies
- Fruit and Nut Cookies
- Eggnog Cookies
- Pizzelle Cookies
- Oatmeal Cookies
- Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal Cookies
- Sprinkle Sugar Cookies
- Sour Cream Cookies
- Pumpkin Cutout Cookies
- Old-Fashioned Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
Fall Shortbread Cookies
Tried the Recipe? We Would Love To Hear From You In The Comments Below!
- 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon of kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
Fall cookie decorating
- ½ cup whole pecans for the cookie ball garnish
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ cup fall sprinkles or coarse sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Whisk together flour and salt in a small bowl.1¼ cup all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon of kosher salt
- In a separate bowl with a hand mixer or stand mixer, add butter, vanilla and sugar and mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.¾ cup powdered sugar, ½ cup unsalted butter, ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract, ¼ cup sugar
- Reduce speed to low and gradually add in flour, mixing until the dough just comes together.
- Transfer dough to a clean surface, divide in half and and form into two balls.
- Wrap dough balls in plastic wrap and press down into discs about ½ inch thick and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Cut Out Cookies
- Take your dough out of the fridge and let it rest on the counter for about 10 minutes to soften a bit.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to a ¼-inch thickness. The dough will be a bit dry so you can press any cracks back together if needed.
- Use your fall shaped cookie cutter to cut cookies.
- Place cookies on parchment lined baking sheets.
- Reserve scraps from your cutting out the cookies (do not re-roll).
- Sprinkle the Fall sprinkles (or coarse sugar) on to the cookies gently pressing them in.½ cup fall sprinkles or coarse sugar
- Bake cookies for 7 -10 minutes, until just browned around the edges.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Take a large pinch from your scraps of dough and roll it into a ball with your hands.
- The ball should be about the size of a nickel. If the dough is too dry, dip your fingers in some water then try rolling the dough again. Don't be afraid to squish the dough to soften the butter it won't ruin the cookie I promise!
- Do this with all of the scraps of dough you have left until it is all used up.
- Place the cookie balls on a non-lined baking sheet and gently press into the top one pecan.½ cup whole pecans for the cookie ball garnish
- Top the remaining cookie balls with pecans.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until the cookie balls start to look brown on edges and bottom.
- While they are baking, add ½ cup of powdered sugar to a medium bowl.½ cup powdered sugar
- When the cookies are done baking, remove from the oven and one by one take a cookie off the baking sheet and place into your bowl of powdered sugar rolling it around to coat it well (be careful they are hot!).
- Place on a cooling rack to completely cool. Repeat this step for all of the cookie balls.
To make ahead of time:Make the dough and shape into 2 discs and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for up to 2 days. When ready to use, remove the dough from the fridge and let it sit on the counter for 15 minutes to soften a bit and then proceed to rolling and cutting out shapes.
Nutrition Values are estimates only.See full nutrition disclaimer here