Virtual Holiday Cookie Exchange: Cinnamon Shortbread

Every year a few family members and friends get together for a big day of holiday cookie baking, including traditional recipes like shortbread and gingerbread. It is something we all look forward to! Unfortunately, like many things in 2020, we had to cancel this year’s gathering to stay safe during the pandemic. When a fellow blogger, Laura Leigh from Louella Reese, approached me about doing a virtual cookie exchange I thought it would be the perfect substitute!

The idea is each blogger shares a recipe then includes a link to another blogger’s recipe. You can follow the entire chain until you’ve tried them all!

For the virtual cookie exchange I’m sharing a recipe for cinnamon shortbread. It’s lightly spiced and pairs perfectly with hot tea, coffee or milk for Santa! 😉

The key to getting this shortbread recipe is the dryness of the dough before you roll it out. You want to make sure that when you touch it with your finger it comes back clean and relatively dry. It’s almost like the moisture level of Play-Dough!

One of the final steps after rolling and cutting the dough into shapes will be poking holes in the cookies with a toothpick. This is important because it keeps the cookies from puffing up and loosing it’s block-like shape. You want to have a nice, flat and even surface on the top of your shortbread!


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 sticks salted butter (1 lb)
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (can add extra 1 tsp cinnamon for added spice)
  • 1/8 tsp clove

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine sugar, cinnamon, clove, and salt in mixer and blend until evenly distributed. Add butter and cream for 2-3 minutes until fluffy. Slowly add the flour 1 cup at a time, mixing completely between each. Start with using only 4 cups of flour, then pause to test the dough. Touch with your finger and it should come back clean and dry (there will be a little shine because of the butter). If it’s still too wet, continue to add the remaining flour until you reach the right consistency.

On lightly floured surface, roll or pat dough into 1/4″ sheet. Cut cookies and place on un-greased cookie sheet. Poke 3-5 holes in each cookie using a toothpick. Sprinkle tops with granulated sugar.

Bake for 17-21 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove and let cool.

For the next recipe in our Virtual Cookie Exchange, head to Emily Wilkinson’s blog Life With Emily to try her fabulous Gingerbread Cookie recipe.

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  1. I love that you usually do a whole celebration for baking cookies! I think that’s such a sweet idea for spending time with loved ones. A lot of my favorite memories start in the kitchen, so I think it’s a wonderful tradition ❤️

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