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Caramel Shortbread Recipe

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Caramel Shortbread Recipe: Crisp and decadent caramel stuffed shortbread sandwich cookies, made from the perfect butter cut-out cookie recipe!

Caramel Shortbread Cookies Recipe (Best Butter Cut-Out Cookies Ever!) #ASpicyPerspective #christmas
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Oh cookies, why do you have to be so good?!

Every year I determine not to make a many Christmas cookies as I did the year before. And every year, I get started and fail miserably.

Once I start baking (and taste-testing) the excitement and sugar rush take over. It doesn’t help that my kids are right there beside me, egging on the euphoric cookie escapade.

They are bad influences.

Best Caramel Shortbread Recipe (Best Butter Cut-Out Cookies Ever!) #ASpicyPerspective #christmas

This year, I’ve decided to only make shortbread cookies. Or at least cookies that fall under the categories of sugar cookies, butter cookies, and cut-out cookies, which all have a similar base.

Will I be able to hold to my resolve? Probably not.

However, when I made this Caramel Shortbread Recipe I felt no other cookie could possibly stand up to its crumbly buttery texture and the rich lure of creamy caramel.

I think I could live off of them… And maybe a few vegetables for good measure.

6-Ingredient Caramel Shortbread Recipe (Best Butter Cut-Out Cookies Ever!) #ASpicyPerspective #christmas

What Is The Difference Between A Sugar Cookie And A Shortbread Cookie?

Although both types of cookies are sweet and buttery, there is a big difference.

  • Sugar cookies generally include way more ingredients than shortbread recipes.
  • First and foremost, sugar cookies contain eggs, which make them soft and fluffy. While real shortbread recipes never involve eggs. The lack of said ingredient gives shortbread cookies a dense crisp texture.
  • Shortbread is meant to crack, snap, or even crumble when you try to bend it. Yet sugar cookies should be moist enough to bend a little before breaking.
  • True sugar cookies do not make the best cut-out cookies because of their soft texture. You can still frost them, but they do not hold a tight shape with rolled and cut.
  • However shortbread cookies are fantastic for rolling and cutting, so they make a marvelous decorating cookie.

That being said, with today’s Caramel Shortbread Recipe we are making cut-out sandwich cookies.

Easy Caramel Shortbread Recipe (Best Butter Cut-Out Cookies Ever!) #ASpicyPerspective #christmas

What Is The Difference Between Butter Cookies And Shortbread Cookies?

Ok, now this is where it gets a little tricky… Butter cookies and shortbread can be the same thing, but are not always the same.

Origins: Shortbread biscuits originated in Scotland, while butter cookies are decidedly Danish.

Both are crisp crumbly cookies made from a very simple blend of fat, sugar, and flour.

However, the most traditional shortbread recipes are made with either shortening, or a combination of shortening and butter. Butter cookies are always made with butter only…. Yet, modern shortbread recipes are often made with just butter, like butter cookies.

This creates the luxurious buttery flavor that all butter cookies, and most shortbread offer.

Shortbread sometimes contain more flour than butter cookies, making them slightly more dense… But not always.

Simple Caramel Shortbread Recipe (Best Butter Cut-Out Cookies Ever!) #ASpicyPerspective #christmas

Caramel Shortbread Recipe Ingredients

These luxurious caramel stuffed shortbread cookies require only six ingredients, including the filling!

  • Butter – To provide a rich flavor and crunchy texture.
  • Sugar – For sweetness and also for texture.
  • Flour – Because there’s no better base ingredient for traditional cookies.
  • Vanilla Extract – This adds a little underlying intrigue.
  • Salt –  Because salt and caramel are like peas and carrots.
  • Dulce de Leche – Thick canned caramel that is fabulous for cookie filling.

Perfect Shortbread Recipe (Best Butter Cut-Out Cookies Ever!) #ASpicyPerspective #christmas

How To Make Buttery Shortbread Sandwich Cookies with Caramel Filling

  1. Cream the butter – It’s extremely important with all baking recipes that include softened butter, to cream the butter with the sugar. This means you beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until the sugar crystals start to break down, creating a light fluffy texture. Don’t ever skip this step! It makes a huge difference between ok baked goods, and exceptional baked goods.
  2. Blend in the flour –  Once the butter and sugar are properly creamed, mix in the flour. Turn off the mixer the moment it is smooth, so the dough doesn’t get tough.
  3. Roll and Cut – For a delicate crisp texture, try to roll and cut out all the cookies in one round. The more you gather and roll out the dough, the tougher it gets.
  4. Bake –  Bake until the edges are just barely golden.
  5. Fill – Now turn half of the cookies over and pipe thick caramel on them. Then top them with a second cookie.

Get The Full Caramel Shortbread Recipe Below

Caramel Shortbread Recipe (Best Butter Cut-Out Cookies Ever!) #ASpicyPerspective #christmas

More Amazing Christmas Cookies

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See all out Christmas Recipes to plan your menu this season!

Caramel Shortbread Recipe (Best Butter Cut-Out Cookies Ever!) #ASpicyPerspective #christmas
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5 from 7 votes
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Caramel Shortbread Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Caramel Shortbread Recipe: Crisp and decadent caramel stuffed shortbread sandwich cookies, made from the perfect butter cut-out cookie recipe!
Servings: 45 cookies



  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Place the butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Beat on high until very light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
  • Scrape the bowl and beat again to make sure the mixture is very smooth. Then turn the mixer on low and slowly add in the flour. Once fully combined, turn off the mixer, as to not over mix the dough.
  • Flour a work surface and roll the dough out evenly, 1/8-inch thick. Use a 2-inch cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Move them to the cookie sheet using a flat metal spatula. Try to cut as many cookies as possible in the first batch, because each time you roll out the dough the cookies will be a little tougher in texture.
  • Gather the remaining dough and roll it back out. Cut out as many cookies as possible in the seconds batch. Spread the cookies out on the baking sheets an inch a apart.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are light gold. Cool completely. Then flip half the cookies over.
  • Once the cookies are cool, scoop the dulce de leche into a large freezer bag. Snip one corner with scissor to create a piping bag. Pipe a teaspoon of caramel onto the cookies with the bottom-side-up. Press another cookie on top of the caramel to create cookie sandwiches.



Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.


Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 107kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 16mg, Sodium: 26mg, Potassium: 12mg, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 190IU, Calcium: 3mg, Iron: 0.5mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier

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14 comments on “Caramel Shortbread Recipe”

  1. Delicious and on point. Alfajores!

  2. Pingback: How To Make A Biscoff Cookie Pie Crust | WinkFrozenDesserts.com

  3. These cookies are AMAZING. I’m a beginner at baking and these were so easy to make. They came out so buttery and delicious. I made my own caramel to sandwich in between but and it was perfection. I’ll be keeping this shortbread recipe for sure. Next I’ll try raspberry preserves in the sandwich. 

  4. These look yum! I can see from the photos that your cookies also baked  a slight bubble or two on them. Mine does it too. Any idea why? And how to actually make sure they bake nice and even/smooth?

    • Hi Ina,

      That usually happens after you’ve gathered the remaining dough to re-roll and cut… Not on the first roll and cut. The only way to completely eliminate that is to cut all the cookies out in the first batch and throw away the remnant pieces.

  5. Pingback: vanilla bean sandwich cookies • Oh, honey honey

  6. Making these today and saving for daughter who is highly allergic to eggs. Always looking for baked goods without eggs and this fits the bill. Also added bonus Dulce De Leche one of her all time favorites in flan. That dessert was the worst to have to give up. Off to bake. Merry Christmas.

  7. A new favorite treat in our house! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  8. I have always loved shortbread but with caramel in the middle, they are even better!

  9. Oh my gosh these are amazing! Thanks for sharing! 

  10. This is literally the best cookie ever. I love the caramel inside gives the shortbread just that much more deliciousness!

  11. i bet these just melt in your mouth!!

  12. These look great… I think I will make them for a cookie exchange! Does this make 45 single cookies or 45 sandwiched cookies (90 single cookies)?