Buttery shortbread coins


  • Prep Time25 mins
  • Total Time25 mins
  • Makes60 to 70 cookies
*PLUS Refrigeration Time: 60 minutes, Standing Time: 15 minutes, Baking Time: 14 minutes


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 tbsp vanilla

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour


  • Place butter, sugar, vanilla, salt and egg yolk in a food processor. Whirl until smooth, scraping down side as necessary. Add flour. Pulse, occasionally scraping down side, until mixture comes together and starts to form a ball. Or beat all ingredients except flour together in a large bowl until mixed. Then gradually stir in flour. Lightly dust counter with flour, then turn out dough. Divide dough into 4 equal portions. If adding flavours from variations (see below), work in now. Shape each portion of dough into a log about 6 inches (15 cm) long and 1-1/4 inch (3 cm) wide. Wrap logs in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 1 week. Or place in a plastic bag and freeze up to 1 month.

  • When ready to bake, remove dough from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature about 15 minutes. This makes dough easier to slice. Preheat oven to 325F (160C). With a serrated knife, use a gentle sawing motion to slice into 1/3 inch (0.8 cm) thick coins. Spread out on 2 ungreased baking sheets. Bake 1 sheet at a time in centre of preheated 325F (160C) oven until edges are lightly browned, 14 to 16 minutes. Remove cookies to a rack to cool. Store in an airtight container in a cool place or in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks or freeze up to 1 month.

    Decorating tip: Roll logs in finely chopped pecans or pistachios, silver or gold balls, colourful sprinkles or a mixture of chopped dried cranberries and raisins.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories 37, Protein 0.4g, Carbohydrates 4.3g, Fat 2.1g, Fibre 0.1g, Sodium 33mg.

The small size of these cookies makes it impossible not to indulge! One batch can turn out five flavours, so there is a lot to choose from.

Lemon-poppy seed

Gently work in 2 tsp (10 mL) each finely grated lemon peel and 1 tsp (5 mL) poppy seeds.

Skor bar

Gently work in 2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped Skor bar.


Gently work in 2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate, 1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped candied ginger and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground ginger.

Five spice

Gently work in 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each fennel seeds and ground ginger and a pinch each of cinnamon, ground cloves and cardamom. Slice into coins. Press a pecan or walnut half or a few fennel seeds into centre of cookies on baking sheet.


Prepare dough as above and divide into 4 equal portions. Place each in a separate bowl. Using your hands, gently work following ingredients into each.