Irish Cookie Recipe: One of the Most Delicious Irish Expressions We Can Imagine!

There are many kinds of Irish cookie recipe available online, more than we could possibly include here. The question is: how do you choose the most authentic and easy to prepare (and delicious) option?

Irish Expressions - Shortbread Cookie

In our opinion, the cookie that most closely fits this definition is... (drum roll please) the humble Irish shortbread cookie.

Here you will learn more about the ingredients, the preparation technique and the specifics of this delicious treat.

The Irish Shortbread Cookie: Interesting Facts

The shortbread cookie has been popular ever since the 12th century. Originally, it was made from medieval biscuit bread. The bread was baked twice and covered with sugar and certain spices.

Over time, butter became the most important shortbread cookie ingredient. The British government even set standards for shortbread cookies – at least 51 percent of the fat content should come from butter.

At one time, there was a tax on biscuits and other sweet baked goods. To avoid such taxation, bakers called this delicious treat shortbread to differentiate the cookie from other kinds of biscuits and desserts.

The shortbread cookie originated in Scotland. However, since Ireland is famous for its butter, when the the recipe spread to Ireland, the Irish shortbread cookie took on an identity of its own.

A Traditional Irish Cookie Recipe

To make Irish shortbread cookies, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup of softened butter
  • 1 ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup of sugar


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit or 150 degrees Celsius. Butter and dust with flour a pan or a tart ring with a removable bottom.

Use an electric mixer to cream the butter. It should become creamy and fluffy.

Gradually, add all of the solid ingredients and beat until you get a homogenous mixture.

Place the cookie mix into the pan and use a spoon or a spatula to make the layer even.

Bake the shortbread cookies for approximately 20 minutes or until they get slightly brown. The color should be very delicate. If you notice any intense browning, take the shortbread cookies out of the oven.

Cut into the shapes that you desire and let the shortbread cookies cool down. The shortbread cookies come in several traditional shapes. The large circle that is cut into slices is the first variety.

There could also be individual round cookies and thick rectangular pieces that are cut into “fingers.” You can certainly create your own variety or you can stick to one of the three traditional options.

Variations on The Core Irish Cookie Recipe

Irish shortbread cookie recipes differ on the basis of region and family preferences. There are many variations but they all start with the basic recipe that contains solely flour, sugar and high quality butter.

Adding vanilla extract or lemon zest will modernize the recipe and take it to the next level.  Adding green frosting, or using a cookie cutter to create shamrocks and leprechans can give it an Irish twist.

You can also add maple syrup to the shortbread cookies. First, you have to boil the maple syrup and reduce it by half. After doing that, you can follow the traditional recipe. Just make sure that the maple syrup reaches room temperature before you add it to the mix.

When To Serve This Irish Cookie Recipe

In the olden days, the preparation of Irish shortbread cookies was expensive and they were saved for special occasions. Many families made shortbread cookies for Christmas and for St. Patrick’s Day.  Today - any Irish occasion will do!

Hungry for More Irish Recipes?

Sharing Irish food is one of our favorite ways to enjoy an Irish experience, wherever in the world we happen to be!  

The flavors of an Irish meal, and the stories that come along with many Irish recipes, gives us a sense of connection with the Emerald Isle.

If you would like to receive a free copy of our e-book on favorite Irish recipes, scroll down and enter your email address.  You can have recipes for our favorite Irish foods in your inbox in just minutes!

Want Even More?

At Irish Expressions, our our goal is simple: to provide you with a unique Irish experience, on demand, wherever you are in the world.

If you have enjoyed our section on Irish Food Recipes, you have probably been exposed to many of the most delicious flavors that Ireland has to offer!

Will that entice you to visit Ireland - or to return if you have already been? 

We hope so!  

But even if that is not possible, you can still enjoy the magic of Ireland in these pages.  Check out the links at the top of the page for simple instructions on how to explore Irish landmarks, enjoy Irish food, practice Irish customs, and much more!