Shortbread cookies are a staple for special occasions, like holidays and weddings. The best part is that making those buttery luxuries is pretty straightforward.
For that reason, you might end up baking a few extra batches and wondering what to do with leftover shortbread cookies.
In this article, we’ll explore tasty ways to use leftover shortbread instead of wasting it. So, keep reading to find out!
You can use leftover shortbread cookies in various recipes. For instance, you can decorate them with icing to make holiday cookies. You can fill them with frosting to make sandwich cookies.
The buttery, crumbly texture of the cookies makes them perfect for mixing with cream and other sweet desserts. Those include parfait, trifles, and tiramisu. If you are still left with too much shortbread, try freezing it for later use.
Let’s discuss each recipe in further detail!
Who wouldn’t love cookie sandwiches? Think about it: with a dense, buttery crust filled with a soft filling, upgrading shortbread to sandwich cookies can please many crowds. The best part is that you’ve got plenty of cream options to choose from.
You can try cream cheese and vanilla frosting to make a new version of red velvet shortbread cookies. Whipped cream and frozen raspberries are also delicious when paired with vanilla shortbread.
Simple options such as nut butter and jello make for quick, delicious fillings. Your favorite ice cream flavor is also an easy way to turn leftover shortbread into sandwich cookies.
Parfaits and trifles are close cousins. The former is a French dessert typically served in individual, tall glasses.
Originally, parfaits were made of custard cream and sugar syrup. Now, you can find several variations of the French dessert that contain fruits, granola, biscuits, cream, and even yogurt.
Trifles, on the other hand, are a British dessert. It usually contains a cake base and a fruit element.
Between those ingredients is a cream or custard layer, but you can make them with other fillings, as well. The British dish is served in a big glass bowl and is usually scooped onto individual plates.
One thing is for sure: both desserts are equally fabulous, and you can use shortbread leftovers to make those desserts. Even slightly stale cookies would do, as the moisture in the other ingredients would soften the biscuit.
Icebox cake is your go-to option if you’re not a skilled baker yet still want to make an easy, fancy dessert. Similar to parfaits and trifles, this cake also involves layering shortbread cookies.
You simply need to beat the cream, vanilla, and sugar until it becomes stiff. Then, stack the shortbread cookies in a tray with layers of whipped cream between them. Garnish with chocolate curls or ganache if desired, and serve after freezing the cake for around six hours.
Add some key lime zest and juice to the cream filling for a citrusy twist. Of course, you can mix and match with other fruits too. You can also use buttercream, cream cheese, or any frosting of your choice.
Making tiramisu with shortbread cookies is an excellent way to use the leftover biscuits. That’s especially handy if you’re short on ladyfingers but craving the Italian dessert.
You simply need to soak the cookies in espresso and layer them with mascarpone. Use rectangular shortbread cookies, as they’re easier to assemble. You can add whipped cream to the cheese to make the filling lighter.
Sure, shortbread tiramisu isn’t a classic recipe. However, it’s an easy, no-bake dessert that’s equally delicious as the original Italian dessert!
Now, you can freeze shortbread if you still have leftovers after trying some of the above recipes.
Freezing is also handy when you want to maintain the cookie’s freshness for later use. Low temperatures provide unfavorable conditions for food-spoilage microorganisms to grow.
So, you can keep the leftovers for as long as 3 to 8 months.
Simply place the cookies in an airtight container and put them in the freezer. You can also use a zip-lock bag and press all the air out before sealing it.
For a grab-and-go option, wrap the cookies in plastic wrap, followed by aluminum foil. Thaw the shortbread on the counter when you’re ready to eat it.
That said, storing frosted shortbread cookies is a different story. For one, decorating icing doesn’t freeze well. Plus, they contain moisture that can cause the shortbread to become soggy when thawed.
Got broken shortbread cookies? No worries! Here are three methods to turn those cookie crumbs into delicious recipes:
If you’ve tried one of those no-bake cheesecakes, then you’ve probably made cookie crumb crusts.
All you need to do is add melted butter to the broken shortbread cookies and blend them using a food processor. You can also mix it with sugar to adjust the sweetness. Then, press the mixture into a pie pan and refrigerate until it solidifies.
You can take your favorite ice cream flavor up a notch by sprinkling shortbread crumbs on top of the scoop.
The best part is that you don’t have to use only the buttery cookies. Try mixing them with other broken biscuits.
If you want to go the extra mile, toast the crushed cookies on medium heat before topping the ice cream with the crumbs.
For those who don’t know, truffles are a bite-sized chocolate treat made of ganache. The latter is a mixture of chocolate and heavy cream heated over a water bath.
After cooling the ganache, roll the truffles into small balls. Most recipes either dip the balls in chocolate or cover them in cocoa powder.
However, you can roll the chocolate balls in shortbread crumbs. You can also mix them in the chocolate ganache with toasted nuts to make a new treat!
You can save burnt shortbread by removing the dark portion. First, remove the overcooked cookies from the hot tray to avoid cooking them further. Then, use a bread knife to scrape off the burnt layer.
A hand grater is also an excellent tool to remove the black bits from the shortbread. Simply slide the cookies back and forth until you no longer see burnt edges. Make sure not to grate too hard, as that will break the shortbread.
After saving the burnt biscuits, you can add them to different dessert recipes, as mentioned earlier.
That said, it’s best to refrain from eating burnt food altogether. That’s because it contains acrylamide, a hazardous chemical that increases the risk of cancer.
Typically, shortbread dough consists mainly of butter, flour, and sugar. Some recipes call for adding eggs to help bind the mix.
Aside from adding sugar, you can try spicing up the dough with other ingredients.
For instance, substitute a portion of the dry component with almond flour. You can also add vanilla or almond extract. Cocoa, cinnamon, and other winter spices are excellent for shortbread holiday cookies.
What’s more, you can even turn the buttery mixture into a savory dish! Try adding pepper, chili flakes, and thyme to the dough. Those make excellent biscuits for a fancy cheese platter.
Figuring out what to do with leftover shortbread cookies will help you put all the extra dough to good use. Not to mention, you’ll upgrade plain shortbread to several delicious recipes.
You can layer the cookies with cream and fruits to make parfaits, trifles, or icebox cakes. Similarly, you can soak them in coffee and top them with a mascarpone filling to make tiramisu.
If you still have extra cookies on hand, simply freeze them in an airtight container. They’ll generally last up to eight months. That way, you can ensure nothing goes to waste and enjoy every last bit of the buttery cookies!
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.