Imperial Sugar
Imperial Sugar

Holiday Ornament Shortbread Cookies


  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, soft
  • 1 1/2 cup Imperial Sugar Confectioners Powdered Sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour*
  • 15 drops red gel food color
  • Festive sprinkles
  • 1 1/2 cups candy melts/white chips
  • One (8 oz) bag white Reese's Mini Cups (optional)

*Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.


  1. Prepare red dough by mixing 1 stick soft butter until smooth. Sift and add 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 15 drops red food gel color. Sift and add 1 cup flour and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
  2. Press dough 1/4-inch thick onto a plastic lined cookie sheet. Place in refrigerator.
  3. Prepare vanilla dough by mixing 2 sticks soft butter until smooth. Sift and add 1 cup powdered sugar. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sift and add 2 cups flour and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
  4. Divide vanilla dough in half and roll each half into an 8-inch cylinder. Set aside at room temperature.
  5. On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll half of red dough into a rectangle measuring 8- x 5 1/4-inchs. Chill in fridge if dough becomes too sticky.
  6. Place one vanilla dough cylinder on top of the flat red dough and wrap red dough around it. If doughs refuse to stick together use the smallest amount water possible. (Too much water will create steam in oven and separate the colored layers.) Repeat with remaining dough.
  7. Place in freezer until very hard, at least one hour or overnight. (If left overnight allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before cutting.)
  8. Preheat oven to 350°F. Using a sharp knife cut into 1/3-inch slices and place on parchment lined cookie sheets.     
  9. If not using Reese's Mini Cups, create an ornament cap by rolling a small amount of leftover dough trimmings into a small ball. Stick the ball onto the cookie and tuck it slightly underneath to ensure it is well attached.
  10. Allow to defrost before placing into oven. Bake until edges are turning barely golden, about 13-15 minutes.
  11. Once cookies are completely cool fill a small saucepan with 1-inch of water and bring to a boil. Place white chips in a bowl and place over the saucepan. Turn heat to very low and stir chips until melted.  
  12. Pour melted chocolate into a small piping bag and pipe designs onto a cookie and immediately sprinkle with decorations of choice. Repeat with all cookies.
  13. For standing cookies, place a couple of cereal boxes or similar height boxes on your kitchen counter. Cover boxes with plastic food film ensuring that plastic drapes well over the sides and onto kitchen counter.
  14. Carefully and as described above melt 1/2 cup white chips. Allow chocolate to firm slightly. Dip each cookie bottom into melted chocolate and place standing up on sides of plastic covered boxes. (Make certain the cookie sits onto plastic.)
  15. Once chocolate has firmed stand cookies up away from boxes. Some cookies may need a second dip to ensure stability.
  16. Melt a little chocolate to adhere the mini cups to the top of each cookie.