Marbled Shortbread Cookies

The spirit of Scotland wherever you go!

I have 2 more days left working in the hospital! Wahoo!

I enjoy baking for people to show my appreciation so I baked these marbled shortbread cookies for my instructor and the PTs and OTs I worked with the past 6 weeks.


Really easy to make and fancy looking. Win win for you!


On a side note… Cravings for food hit me hard last week. Cravings for what you may ask? GOAT CHEESE. I ate around 10 ounces of it in three days. I think that is a lot. I had it on everything. I have never craved goat cheese so much and I may have overdosed on it. No regrets. I did NOT, however, have goat cheese on this cookies.


Let’s talk about cookies in general.

I like to believe I am a good baker. However, my Achilles heel has always been cookies. I could never get the ratio correct and something always tasted or looked “off.”


This recipe may have changed my cookie-game.


My biggest struggle I find with shortbread cookies is that my dough ALWAYS crumbles. My flour/butter ratio is off and I always find out when it is too late.


My dough crumbled again with this recipe.



I always thought you could just add milk/water until the dough came together, but really you should decrease the amount of flour you use (too late for that) or add more butter (what’s not to love about that). I added an extra half a stick to my dough to make it smooth once again. If I knew ahead of time, I think taking out 1/2 c flour would have been a good alternative.


After the addition of 1/2 stick of butter (and 1 T water…)


Before I added the butter I TRIED adding 1 T water but it did absolutely nothing.


The fun part of the recipe was making the marbled effect. The directions on the website made no sense so hopefully these pictures make perfect sense on how I achieved what you see in the finished product.

I tried to make sure when I was layering the cookies that no chocolate was on chocolate and plain on plain. You could also probably layer more and get even MORE stripes!

Shape in a cylinder, wrap with plastic wrap, chill for an hour. Cut. Bake!



Pretty darn easy! You can also freeze and save for later.


The best part of shortbread cookies? Thinking about Scotland. Hands down my favorite country I have visited. I would love to have a nearby neighbor who raises Highland cattle. I don’t want to raise them personally, I just want the perks of petting them without the responsibilities. Can I get an amen?!


We made our taxi driver in Ft William, Scotland turn around so we could go take pictures with them
We took a bus tour through the Highlands to Isle of Skye and one stop was to feed the cows. I nearly pushed everyone off the bus so I could go feed one. Nearly cried. No shame.

The original recipe suggests that you dip one side in melted chocolate. I could do with or without the added chocolate. Didn’t make a difference to me. But if you do use chocolate, use a good kind! There is a specialty store near me and I have been spoiled with bricks of chocolate.




Marbled Shortbread Cookies

Adapted from The Chew


1 ½ sticks unsalted butter (+1/2 stick?)**

½ c sugar

1 t pure vanilla extract

1 t salt (kosher apparently is preferred. I used table salt)

2 c all-purpose flour**


1 T cocoa powder


approx. 6 oz chocolate to melt (optional)


  1. Cream butter and sugar together until soft and billowy. Approx. 3 minutes
  2. Add vanilla and salt and mix until combined
  3. Add in flour ½ c at a time
  4. Separate dough in half. In one half, add cocoa powder and gently mix until combined. Softly knead dough if necessary.
  5. Roll both halves of dough into cylinders of same length and line next to each other. Mash together.20170212_124017
  6. Cut in middle and stack the two so no two colors are touching. Gently mash together.20170212_124114
  7. Cut in half again and stack. Gently mash together.20170212_124220
  8. Roll in cylinder of 2” diameter, surround with plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator for at least an hour


Heat oven to 350 degrees


  1. remove from refrigerator and slice in ¼” thick slices
  2. Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Cookies should keep shape in oven so you only need to place them 1” apart.
  3. Cook 10-15 minutes until edges/bottom is lightly brown.
  4. Remove and let cool
  5. If you choose to tip in chocolate, melt chocolate in microwave or in double boiler. If using microwave, use 30 sec intervals and stir after each 30 sec. Do not over heat J
  6. Dip and place chocolate side down on parchment paper. Let sit until chocolate sets. Serve!

** I did this recipe originally with the addition of 1/2 stick of butter. If you dough crumbles, ADD THE BUTTER!! If anyone tries by omitting 1/2 c flour, let me know how it turns out!

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