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These easy Slice and Bake Butter Toffee Shortbread Cookies are rich and buttery, and perfect for holiday baking or to have along with your afternoon coffee.


Shortbread purists look away because you probably won’t want to see this, lol. Toffee bits are definitely not a component of classic shortbread, but they add a salted caramel-like flavor that takes these cookies over the top.

In fact, this recipe is a good shortbread recipe to customize any number of ways. You can go really crazy and add mini chocolate chips along with the toffee, or go the route of dried fruit and nuts. Or for the classic version, leave out all the add-ins for rich, butter-flavored cookies (oooh, and if you go that route, you could always dip them in dark chocolate once they’re baked and cooled!).


Really, you can’t go wrong with this recipe any way you do it.

In addition to their versatility, another great thing about shortbread cookies is that they’re not overly sweet like so many cookies are. They should be richly flavored of butter (so you’ll want to use a top-quality butter here, and go with unsalted so you can control the salt level yourself), and short, meaning crumbly. There is no leavening agent (such as baking powder, baking soda, yeast, etc.) used in shortbread!


This is one of those recipes that’s great to have up your sleeve for holiday baking, or any time you feel like whipping up an easy slice and bake cookie to have along with afternoon coffee or tea.

For a festive twist on shortbread, check out Cooking Light’s recipe for Ginger Shortbread!


Slice and Bake Butter Toffee Shortbread Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: about 1½ dozen cookies
These easy Slice and Bake Butter Toffee Shortbread Cookies are rich and buttery, and perfect for holiday baking or to have along with your afternoon coffee.
  • 1 cup (8 oz/227 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (100 g) sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground mahlab (optional)
  • 285 g/10.05 oz (about 2¼ cups) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (4 oz/115 g) toffee bits
  1. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the vanilla, salt, and mahlab, and then the flour. Stir in the toffee bits.
  2. Roll the dough into a log about 12 to 14-inches long, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled (about 2 hours in the fridge or 20 minutes in the freezer).
  3. Preheat the oven to 325F and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners.
  4. Slice the dough into slices about ¾-inch thick and arrange them on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are sandy colored on the bottom and along the outside but not browned, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Cool completely on the trays before removing.
Make-Ahead: You can make this dough ahead of time and store it wrapped in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or wrapped in the freezer for up to 3 months (if freezing the dough, let it thaw overnight in the fridge before baking).

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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  1. Marlene Draeger says:

    Recipe is so easy & delicious…..I would recommend baking 1-2 minutes longer
    Thank you for sharing this Great recipe!

  2. Hello, would these cookies fair well cut into shapes? Or would they spread out?

    1. Max, I haven’t tried it so I don’t know for sure, but I think these would spread out a bit too much to nicely keep their shape.

  3. Shortbread cookies are one of my favs and the toffee add is even better. I’ve been baking with the mahlab and trying out new things, thanks Faith!

  4. joselle merritt says:

    I’m making these for a birthday party for work tomorrow. I’ll also have to order some mahlab. It sounds lovely.

  5. Just the name makes my mouth water. Have a great week Diane

  6. I’m a sucker for a great shortbread and this looks amazing! Traditional or not, I love the addition of toffee bits! Mahlab is new to me. Tell me more!

    1. Marissa, Mahlab is a spice that’s commonly used as a flavoring in Middle Eastern cooking; it’s the seed kernel that comes from the center of St Lucie Cherry pits. Mahlab has a lovely aroma, and tastes like a cross between almonds and cherries. I find that its unique flavor enhances many sweet recipes, such as cookies and cakes. Let me know if you can’t find it in your area because I’d be happy to send you some! xoxo

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