Cookie Swap: Buttered Rum Shortbread from Sister Pie

This holiday cookie recipe comes from Detroit bakery Sister Pie, whose cookbook is filled with fantastic bites. Interested in picking up a box of these treats? Their pastry case in their West Village neighborhood eatery is a must-stop for Detroit eaters!

Photo credit: Lana Williams

These shortbreads contain just enough rum in the icing and the dough to make you feel a tiny bit tipsy. I can guarantee they’ll be the first ones to disappear from the holiday cookie plate. Oh, what fun!

Buttered Rum Shortbread Cookies

Makes 36 cookies

Rum Icing

  • ¾ cup powdered sugar, plus more as needed
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil, melted
  • 2 teaspoons dark or spiced rum
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream, plus more
  • as needed, at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves

Shortbread Dough

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room
  • temperature
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dark or spiced rum
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Mix the dough: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Set

Place the butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until very smooth with no visible chunks of butter.

Use a silicone spatula to scrape down the bowl, then add the rum and vanilla and mix until just incorporated. Add the flour mixture all at once and mix on low speed until completely incorporated. Remove the dough from the bowl and shape into a cylindrical log approximately 11⁄2 inches in diameter. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 40 minutes. You can mix and shape the dough up to 2 days in advance and store it in the refrigerator until 1 hour before you intend to roll out the dough. Alternatively, you may freeze the dough for up to 3 months, then let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight before proceeding with the recipe.

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap it, and place on a cutting board. Using a sharp chef’s knife, slice the cookies about 1⁄4 inch thick. Carefully transfer them to the parchment-lined baking sheets. Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 14 to 16 minutes, until the edges are just slightly golden.

Remove the baking sheets from the oven and transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool.

Make the icing: While cookies are cooling, in a medium bowl whisk together the powdered sugar, coconut oil, rum, cream, salt, and cloves until very smooth. The texture should remind you of Elmer’s glue. Yum! If the icing seems a little dry, whisk in a bit more heavy cream. If it seems a little too wet, whisk in powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Stir in the rose petals.

Once the cookies have fully cooled, use a small offset spatula or knife to spread a very thin, even layer of icing across the tops of the cookies. It should be carefully smoothed, not gloppy. Return the cookies to the baking sheets to give the icing a chance to set up before serving. Store the iced cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Reprinted with permission from Sister Pie: The Recipes & Stories of a Big-Hearted Bakery in Detroit by Lisa Ludwinski, copyright (c) 2018. Published by Lorena Jones Books, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc.

Try our other Cookie Swap recipes:

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