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Christmas Lights Shortbread Cookies

Christmas Lights Shortbread Cookies

Do you ever have recipes that come about as a result of a happy accident?

Well… these Christmas Light Shortbread Cookies were a very happy accident!

I was making our regular shortbread cookies for Christmas and decided I would add a few sprinkles of some holiday non pariels that I had leftover from another decorating project. But after I’d added the non pariels to the top a few of the cookies, I wasn’t liking how they looked.

I had lots of sprinkles in some areas and none in other areas. So I tried evening things out and ended up with cookies that looked like a toddler had gotten into the sprinkles.

I scooped those cookies off the baking sheet back into the dough, gave it a mix and then realized I should have scooped them into a separate bowl because now I had sprinkles scattered throughout the dough.  Rather than stress about it, I decided what the heck and added some more of the non pariels.

That actually looked quite interesting!

So I scooped up all the cookies off the baking sheet, added them back to the bowl, gave it another mix, filled the cookie press and started over.

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Christmas Lights Shortbread Cookies



Begin by creaming the butter in a medium mixing bowl until it’s light and fluffy.

Christmas Lights Shortbread Cookies - 1 Cream the butter until light and fluffy

Measure all the dry ingredients into a separate bowl.

Christmas Lights Shortbread Cookies - 2 Measure icing sugar

Give the dry ingredients a stir with a dry whisk.

Or you can do what I do and run them through a shifter. This will make sure that there aren’t any lumps.

Christmas Lights Shortbread Cookies - 3 Sift dry ingredients together

Add half of the dry ingredient mixture to the bowl with the creamed butter and mix.

Christmas Lights Shortbread Cookies - 4 Add half of the dry ingredients to the bowl with the butter

Add the remaining dry mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough.

Christmas Lights Shortbread Cookies - 5 Beat the dry ingredients into the butter

Add 1½ tablespoons of red, green and white non pariels to the bowl.

Christmas Lights Shortbread Cookies - 6. Quickly stir in the non pariels

For this next step, you’re going to have to act fast.

After all… the non pariels are made of sugar so they are going to start to dissolve.

Christmas Lights Shortbread Cookies - 7 Non pariels mixed into the shortbread dough

Once you’ve got the non pariels mixed in, get your cookie press filled and in action quickly. If you wait too long, you’ll end up with a cookie that looks like the one on the right, instead of the one on the left.

Christmas Lights Shortbread Cookies - 9 Two Christmas tree cookies side by side

Don’t get me wrong… the one on the right is still pretty.

So don’t worry if you have little ones helping you man the cookie press. You’ll just end up with some that look like they have lights and some that have red and green swirls.

Christmas Lights Shortbread Cookies - 8 Use cookie press to make the Christmas tree shapes

If you don’t have a cookie press you can pick them up at most department stores or any cooking supply store. I have one like this cookie press from Amazon.

It comes with discs in different shapes as well as decorating tips to use if you’re icing cookies or cakes.


I made trees and wreaths this year.

Christmas Lights Shortbread Cookies - Tray of Tree shaped cookies and tray of wreath shaped cookies with cup of tea

As you can see… I ended up with a mix of Christmas Light Shortbread Cookies and Red & Green Swirl Cookies in this batch I was taking photos of.

My next batch, I was much quicker with the cookie press!

Bake the cookies at 300ºF for 20 to 25 minutes or until very lightly golden brown around the edges.

Since each oven can be different… some ovens run a little hot and some run a little cooler… what I do is start checking at about 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven, allow to sit for 1 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to cooling racks until completely cool.

Store in an air tight container for up to a week or freeze and take them out to thaw as you need them.


If you like your shortbread cookies with nothing in or on them… just leave out the non pariels. You’ll have a shortbread cookie that is melt-in-your-mouth delicious!





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Christmas Lights Shortbread Cookies

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  • Joy McDonald
    December 10, 2019 4:59 am

    I love using my cookie press at Christmas time! Mine used to be mum’s – so pretty old! Nowadays they also have electric ones, but I am quite happy with my “vintage” one! Your cookies look very pretty indeed! xx

  • MaryAnne
    December 23, 2017 12:10 pm

    These look SO good!! When I was a kid I simply could not wrap my head around how anybody would think that cookies made from basically butter and flour were fit to eat. Funny how my attitude has changed!!

  • kim
    December 19, 2017 5:02 pm

    These are so pretty and look absolutely delicious! I might have to add these to my baking list this year!

  • Joy
    December 19, 2017 2:16 am

    mmm yum! I have a cookie press like that and it is very fussy with the dough used, so I’m always on the lookout for new recipes that work with it! I do know it’s not good to use on a hot day!! Thanks for sharing! xx

  • Lydia @ Thrifty Frugal Mom
    December 19, 2017 12:02 am

    My mom used to make shortbread cookies using a cookie press when I was a kid and I thought it was the most fun thing ever. I was just thinking this year that I should get a press to make them with my own kids! This recipe looks easy and I love the sprinkles idea. So festive and fun! Love how your “accident” turned out to be a great discovery!

  • Emily
    December 18, 2017 10:31 pm

    Oh yum! These look delicious and so festive! I love shortbread cookies, they are sweet without being too much. I think these would be fun to make with my kids, they love to help when I am baking.

  • Rachel
    December 18, 2017 7:32 am

    Goodness, doesn’t that just prove that you can be delighted and surprised by something that happened by accident!

  • QuiltShopGal
    December 17, 2017 7:39 pm

    Great idea. I think they look better than when the sprinkles are on top. Thanks for sharing. Yummy #CreativeGoodness


    • Marji
      December 18, 2017 1:34 pm

      How long do you cook these for and at what temperature?

      • Super Mom No Cape
        December 18, 2017 4:24 pm

        Oh my goodness Marji… how on earth did I forget that! I’ve updated the post with temperature and time. Thanks for catching my omission!

        “Bake the cookies at 300ºF for 20 to 25 minutes or until very lightly golden brown around the edges.”

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