Walkers Shortbread Cookies

Recreate the buttery goodness of Walkers Shortbread Cookies with this easy copycat recipe! Simple ingredients come together to create that classic crumbly texture and melt-in-your-mouth sweetness. These Scottish butter cookies are perfect for teatime, holiday festivities, or a quick treat. You can give them as a homemade gift in a tin.

Copycat Walkers shortbread cookies on a plate.


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What Makes Walkers Shortbread Cookies So Good? 

Lovers of shortbread already know that the best comes in the box with the famous red and black tartan design. There’s just something about the rich, buttery taste of Walkers shortbread cookies from Scotland that makes them so difficult to stop eating.

Both kids and adults love these cookies, so you will always want to keep extra on hand. They are great Christmas cookies too.

Why You Should Try This Recipe 

Walkers Shortbread are high-quality cookies, but they aren’t cheap. A small packet can take a pretty big bite out of your snack budget. But when you make them at home, you can use premium ingredients and still save money.

Even if you don’t mind splurging on shortbread at the store, once you see how easy and tasty this traditional Scottish shortbread cookie recipe is, you’ll never want to buy premade shortbread again.

This traditional shortbread recipe does not contain eggs which is great for those who have an egg allergy.

Walker Shortbread Cookies Ingredients

To make this Walker shortbread recipe, you’ll need:

  • Unsalted butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • All-purpose flour
Copycat Walkers shortbread cookies ingredients on a marble surface.

Why Use Unsalted Butter 

While today’s store-bought salted butter contains less salt than the homemade butter of the past, without standards for how much salt is added to butter, most recipe writers prefer to call for the unsalted variety. That way, you can add salt as needed.

How to Bake Walkers Shortbread Cookies 

To make the shortbread dough:

  1. Take the unsalted butter out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. 
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the softened butter and the powdered sugar. Mix at medium speed for about two to three minutes or until the sugar is fully incorporated and the butter volume increases. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use a hand mixer or even a fork (although the dough is quite stiff).
Collage of creaming butter and powdered sugar to make shortbread cookies.
  1. In a separate bowl, use a fork to whisk together the vanilla extract and the salt. Since the vanilla extract is the only liquid in this recipe, all the salt must dissolve fully during this step, or the cookies may become gritty. 
  2. While the mixer is running, add the mixture to the creamed butter. 
  3. Gradually add the flour to the bowl and continue mixing until the dough is smooth. 
Collage of adding flavoring and dry ingredients to wet ingredients for shortbread cookies.

To shape the cookies into shortbread fingers:

  1. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking tray and line it with parchment paper. The oil helps the parchment paper stick to the pan, so don’t skip this step. If you are new to baking, check out this video to learn how to line a baking tray with parchment paper. 
  2. Use a dough scraper to help transfer the dough into the prepared baking tray.
  3. Spread the dough out on the baking tray and flatten. Shake the baking tray to break up air bubbles and get the dough into the corners.
  4. Place another sheet of greased parchment paper over the top of the tray with the greased side down. Roll over the parchment paper with a rolling pin to smooth the top as much as possible. Remove the parchment paper and discard it. 

To bake the cookies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Place the shortbread in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. 
  3. After 20 minutes, remove the baking tray from the oven. Use a short knife or a pizza cutter to cut the shortbread into 18 pieces, about 1.5 x 4 inches.
  4. Press the tines of a fork into each piece of shortbread to form two parallel lines of tiny holes in each piece. Docking the shortbread like this will prevent it from puffing up. 
  5. Return the shortbread to the oven and bake for 8 to 9 minutes. 
  6. Place the baking tray on a wire and allow the shortbread to cool completely before eating or storing.
Collage of rolling out and baking dough to make copycat Walkers shortbread cookies.

What to Serve Walker Shortbread Cookies With 

Shortbread goes exceptionally well with tea, especially strong black tea. Since shortbread contains so much butter, nibbling on the cookies between sips of tea will help reduce some of the tea’s acidity without adding sugar or cream. Shortbread goes almost as well with espresso if you are not a tea person.

You can also use the cookies to make a shortbread crust for pies. Just place the cookies in a food processor and process them until crumbly but not a powder or place them in a plastic ziptop bag and roll over it with a rolling pin to crush the cookies. Use the crumbs instead of graham cracker crumbs.

Copycat Walkers shortbread cookies piled on a white plate.

Recipe Variations – Chocolate Dipped or Drizzled

To elevate this Scottish shortbread recipe, melt some chocolate chips!

Dip the cookies in the melted chocolate or drizzle it on top. Then add some colorful sprinkles or finely chopped pecans on top of the chocolate.

How to Store Shortbread Cookies

To keep shortbread cookies fresh, place them in an airtight container.

You can also freeze shortbread:

  1. Wrap individual serving portions in plastic wrap. 
  2. Freeze in a freezer-safe container.
  3. Defrost in the fridge overnight.  

How Long Will They Last?

Cookies will last about four or five days on the countertop, a week in the fridge, or a month in the freezer.

Closeup of copycat Walkers shortbread cookies on a plate.

Favorite DIY Recipes

Check out more of my easy recipes for cookies and the best DIY recipes on CopyKat!

Copycat Walkers shortbread cookies on a plate.

Walkers Shortbread Cookies

Homemade Walkers Scottish shortbread cookies are a delicious treat to enjoy and share with friends.
5 from 13 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cookie Recipes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 18
Calories: 167kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Gently spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray and line the pan with parchment paper. (See notes for tips on how to best cut the parchment paper and line the dish.)
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and powdered sugar using a fork or electric hand or stand mixer. Blend for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture is smooth and fully combined. Add the vanilla and salt and blend again. Add 1/3 to 1/2 of the flour and blend until incorporated. Continue adding the rest of the flour in batches and mixing until all the flour is incorporated and smooth. The dough should be thick and velvety.
  • Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan and press it flat with your hands. Be sure to press across the entire surface and toward the corners. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top of the dough and rub your hands, a small rolling pin, or a flat-bottomed glass over the parchment to further smooth the dough and create a perfectly flat surface. Remove the top parchment piece.
  • Bake the shortbread in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the pan from the oven, but keep the oven on.
  • Using a sharp knife, make 5 even cuts parallel to the length of the pan, dividing the shortbread in 6 equal strips (the strips should be about 1 1/2 x 13 inches). Then make 2 even cuts parallel to the width of the pan, dividing each long strip into thirds. This will make 18 pieces of shortbread, each about 1 ½ x 4 inches.
  • Gently press the tongs of a fork into each piece of shortbread, forming two parallel lines of equally spaced holes. These holes will create the traditional Walker’s look.
  • Return the pan to the oven and continue to bake for 8 to 9 minutes. Remove the pan from oven and allow the shortbread to cool completely before enjoying.

Notes

Although these cookies won’t rise, use a baking dish that is at least 1 to 2 inches deep for best results.
This shortbread isn’t “crunchy.” It is soft and slightly chewy, but firm enough to hold its shape after cutting.
LINING A BAKING DISH WITH PARCHMENT PAPER: Cut a sheet of parchment paper large enough to cover the dish with about 2 inches of overhang. Using your thumbs and index fingers, press the parchment paper down into the dish, extending your fingers strongly into the corners to make an indentation. Remove the parchment from the dish and use a pair of scissors to make 8 cuts in the parchment: 2 cuts leading to each indentation from both sides of the paper. Be sure your cuts do not meet one another; the corners of the paper should remain attached. There should be about 2 inches from each indentation to the end of the paper, so you may need to trim the excess if it exceeds this length. Place the parchment paper back into the dish, tucking the corners behind the sides of the parchment. Press the paper with your fingers along the edges of the dish to smooth it into place. It should hold up nicely.

Nutrition

Calories: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 18mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 314IU | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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