We have all been there…you just remember you signed up to bring a dessert to the holiday potluck party…tonight.

If you are short on time, this is the best secret for easy holiday cookies out there: grab a couple of logs of store-bought sugar cookie dough, sliced them as per the instructions, then divided each cookie into four pieces. Then sprinkle them with lavender salt, like Beautiful Briny Sea’s lavender salt (affiliate) and baked as directed.

Updated for 2022

Holiday Shortbread | Cool Mom Eats

If you have a little more time, you can use a homemade shortbread cookie recipe like the one below that has been tested to perfection based on a recipe from a friend who knows her way around a kitchen. It’s a great recipe because it keeps the dough little lighter on sugar than a lot of traditional cookie recipes, which makes it perfect for the salty-sweet balance.

But frankly, if you’re short on time or energy as so many of us are around the holidays, there is nothing wrong with using the store-bought dough shortcut. After all, the important thing is that we can gather with friends and family, and not stress about the cookies that shows up at the potluck.

Related: The best holiday cookie recipes from Cool Mom Eats readers

Recipe: The easiest shortbread cookies with lavender salt

Chopping each cookie into quarters before baking serves two purposes. First, the slightly irregular shape makes them look more homemade and less “perfect”. Second, it helps make them into smaller, bite-sized cookies, perfect to set out on the bar or a side table.

Cool trick alert: Did you forget to soften your butter? Fill a tall glass with boiling hot water, pour it out, then place the butter vertically on paper towel lined plate, and then put the glass over top of the butter and let it sit for 5-7 minutes.

2 sticks butter (1 cup), softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Culinary Lavender salt, like Beautiful Briny Sea’s lavender salt (affiliate) for sprinkling

1. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl.
2. Beat in egg.
3. Add flour and drizzle vanilla, mixing all ingredients until blended. I find it quickest and easiest to do this with my hands.
4. Divide dough into two pieces and shape into 8-inch long logs, wrapping in plastic wrap.
5. Chill for 3 to 4 hours.
6. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
7. Cut log into 1/4 inch slices, cutting each slice in four if you want smaller cookies. Without flattening or pressing, place on ungreased cookie sheet.
8. Sprinkle with lavender salt.
9. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until barely browned around the edges.

Serve the cookies cool. Enjoy!