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Candied Ginger Shortbread Cookies

A stack of shortbread cookies with pieces of candied ginger wrapped in plum-colored ribbon

Shortbread that is perfectly buttery rich and crumbly is one of the simplest forms of cookie enjoyment. It’s not a baked good I grew up making, but I always liked when someone else would offer me some of their own. I’ve found myself experimenting with shortbread more and more the past few years. And my appreciation for it has only grown stronger.

These Candied Ginger Shortbread Cookies are a special sweet bite for those trying to maneuver their way around the chocolate-dipped and sprinkles-overloaded cookies on the holiday treat platter. They are delicate and crumbly and lightly sweet. And those little chewy morsels of zingy candied ginger are heavenly. And so pretty. Absolutely lovely with a cup of tea or coffee.

A stack of shortbread cookies with pieces of candied ginger wrapped in plum-colored ribbon

Candied Ginger Shortbread Cookies

Yield: 48 cookies
prep time: 10 minutes
cook time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
total time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Candied Ginger Shortbread Cookies are soft, buttery, and sweet! These ginger cookies would be perfect on a holiday dessert platter.
4.4 Stars (38 Reviews)


  • ½ lb. unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1.5 c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ c. cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ c. finely chopped candied ginger also called crystallized ginger


  • With an electric mixer on low speed, combine butter and sugar for about 30 seconds. Beat in egg yolk, then flour, cornstarch, and salt, until the mixture barely holds together. Do not overbeat. Gently fold in the candied ginger.
  • Lay out 2 pieces of plastic wrap that are about 12” long. Divide dough in half. Place each half on the center of separate pieces of plastic wrap. Using the plastic wrap, gently shape each piece of dough into a 6” long log, about 2” in diameter. Wrap tightly with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 275° F.
  • With a sharp knife, slice cookies 1/4” thick and place on baking sheet, spacing 1” apart. Bake cookies until just firm but still quite tender and not at all brown, about 30 minutes. Cool for a minute on the baking sheet before removing to a rack to finish cooling.


Adapted from The New York Times recipe by Mark Bittman.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 69kcal Carbohydrates: 8g Protein: 1g Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 2g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 14mg Sodium: 13mg Sugar: 4g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
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34 comments on “Candied Ginger Shortbread Cookies”

  1. I had my doubts about this recipe. I made it for my neighbour. I was pleasantly surprised as this is a delicious change to the plain shortbread. I would make this again. Makes a nice hostess gift at Christmas too!

  2. Best crystalized ginger cookie I have made and I’ve tried a lot of recipes.  Not only are they delicious but the texture is perfectly divine.

  3. Wonderful recipe! I have never baked a cookie at such a low temperature and they turned out great. I did add zest on one lemon (since I love lemon and ginger together) and added some vanilla paste. They are amazing!

  4. These cookies are dangerous!

    We all love them so much, I usually give these cookies as a Christmas as a gift to neighbors. To my liking, I’ve added a little more salt than required.
    Thank you for a great recipe.

  5. 6 years later: I have never stopped making an annual holiday shortbread. I gifted a friend some crystallized/candied ginger a while back, and I recognized it in a wonderful shortbread she shared with me. Yours is the recipe… I added some very finely chopped dried cranberries. It was hard to top perfection. Let’s just say, the cranberries made it a bit perfect-er. Thanks.

  6. Just rolled up this dough into logs and popped it into my refrigerator to be sliced and baked tomorrow afternoon… will be a host gift for a holiday party tomorrow evening. The dough is gorgeous (and delicious)! This came together so easily. If these cookies turn out well after baking, your recipe will definitely be added to my yearly holiday cookie repertoire. Thank you for posting!

  7. I never ever bake and thought I’d treat myself to trying something new – I was so excited to make these – however they were ruined because I’m an idiot and didn’t realise that 275 degrees meant fahrenheit (not celsius)! They were burnt within minuets! :( might be helpful for other new bakers to know in future!