Trefoils or Shortbread ( copycat Girl Scout Cookies)

Friday, April 16, 2010
Trefoils are a copycat shortbread cookie from the ever-so-popular Girl Scout once-a-year cookie collection.

These buttery little rounds with a sugary topping are just the right break-time cookie with your favorite hot beverage or a cold glass of milk.

This classic cookie can never be considered a plain cookie with that buttery crisp old-fashioned shortbread flavor.

These copycat Girl Scout cookies are a vintage timeless classic.

Delicious Shortbread Girl Scout Cookies

I absolutely love these classic cookies, they're a perfect snack and delicious with tea or coffee any time of the day.

There is nothing better than the smell of these buttery rich little round shortbread gems and been popular Girl Scout cookies for years.

The best part about these cookies besides the taste, is they are super easy to make with very few tools!

Shop for the Ingredients

  1. 3/4 cup (1 - 1/2 sticks) butter, softened (no substitutions) 
  2. 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  3. 1 - 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
  4. 2 tablespoons finely ground semolina flour
  5.  4 to 5 tablespoons heavy cream or more depending on how the dough comes together (should be a round smooth ball not dry not sticky) easy to handle 
  6. regular granulated sugar for sprinkling on top
  7. See the printable recipe card below for the complete instructions, hit print to avoid any ads at the bottom of this post


  • Don't overbake these, just cook until the edges are light brown
  • add lemon or orange extract to flavor the cookies substituting vanilla
  • if you don't have a cookie cutter use a floured glass to cut them out
  • Store cookies in a tightly covered container for around 4 days
  • Cookies will freeze fine not rolled into powdered sugar for 3 months, thaw first and roll them

Topping suggestions for a holidays

  • use colorful sanding sugars top before baking
  • sprinkle with coconut
  • use holiday-themed sprinkles
  • add finely chopped nuts on top (brush with egg whites first)
  • change the flavor of the dough with different extracts
  • sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture
  • add finely chopped colorful maraschino cherries in red and green for Christmas to the batter blotted dry

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shortbread cookies, trefoils, Girl Scout copycat shortbread cookies
cookie recipes, girl scout cookie recipes, shortbread cookie recipes
Yield: 28
Author: Claudia Lamascolo
Trefoils or Shortbread ( copycat Girl Scout Cookies)

Trefoils or Shortbread ( copycat Girl Scout Cookies)

Trefoils are a copycat Girl Scout shortbread classic and a timeless popular buttery-tasting cookie.
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 15 MinTotal time: 30 Min


  • 3/4 cup (1 - 1/2 sticks) butter, softened (no substitutions)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 - 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons finely ground semolina flour
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons heavy cream or more depending on how the dough comes together (should be a round smooth ball not dry not sticky) easy to handle
  • regular granulated sugar for sprinkling on top


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, with a mixer at low speed, beat butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar until blended.
  3. Increase speed to high and beat until light and creamy, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula add both kinds of flour.
  4. Add cream one tablespoon at a time till it forms a ball, dough should not be sticky.
  5. Roll dough out with very little flour on a board around 1/2 inch thick.
  6. Use any kind of cookie cutter you like.
  7. With small fork tines, prick dough in a decorative pattern (I just used the tines three or four times in a row.)
  8. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.
  9. Bake shortbread for about 15 to 20 minutes or until light and evenly browned around the edges.
  10. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

5.83 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

3.68 g

Carbs (grams)

6.82 g

Fiber (grams)

0.1 g

Net carbs

6.72 g

Sugar (grams)

4.32 g

Protein (grams)

0.48 g

Sodium (milligrams)

40.9 mg

Cholesterol (grams)

15.79 mg

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

Don't Forget to Pin for Later!

Girl Scouts Favorite Cookies

Tagalongs (Peanut Butter Patties)
Thin Mints
Girl Scout Cookie Copycat Roundup


  1. Those trefoils look beautiful - much better than the original girl scout cookies. I was thinking of making thin mints, too. Nice photographs. Please check out my blog, too.

  2. Shortbread cookies are one of my favorites! Yours look lovely all wrapped up!

  3. ahhhh, this may be my favorite - a simple shortbread perfect for many desserts ... love it with a big bowl of ice cream

  4. Thanks @Sasha, your page had no access when I click on it...would love to visit send me your web page
    @bunkycooks thanks for much for your kind words!
    @drick hmmm ice cream what kind? do I have to guess?

  5. They look yummy. I could be eating a couple of these with my coffee this morning! I actually ordered GS cookies for the first time in years this year as one of our researcher's daughters is selling them. I'm thinking they ought to be here soon!

  6. I love shortbread cookies! I love how simple and tasty they are and they go perfect with ice cream! beautiful pictures!

  7. Wow Claudia, the cookies look wonderful! You did a great job. Can you send me a packet of these good looking babes? hehe....
    Have a great weekend.
    Cheers, Kristy

  8. Mmmmm...Love shortbread. Really like the presentation, so feminine and pretty :)

  9. Mmmmm...Love shortbread. Really like the presentation, so feminine and pretty :)

  10. These are so pretty. I just love the pictures you take!

  11. Beautiful cookies, you really captured the great buttery texture of the dough, I know those must taste terrific with a nice cup of tea or coffee.

  12. Buonissmi! Your photos get more and more beautiful!

  13. beautiful pics,delicious shortbread!

  14. Perfect!! Love shortbread, in fact any buttery cookie does it for me!! Yours are just perfect!

  15. Oh so wonderfully...... sweet! Love these cookies!

  16. Your shortbread looks fantastic.

  17. Omg, Trefoils were my favorite Girl Scout cookies as a kid!! This is awesome, really. And the photos look great, Miss Thing!

  18. Gorgeous photos and a tasty cookie too, yummy!

  19. OK Claudia I have a half dozen with a nice hot mug of black coffee! Your photos are great, love the lace ties.

  20. What gorgeous cookies! They make such a beautiful gift.

  21. I love shortbread. Yours are gorgeous and the pictures very nice. Have a nice Sunday :X

  22. A fabulous treat! gorgeous cookies!

  23. These are so pretty and sound totally scrumptious!

  24. I just adore shortbread of all kinds. Being that you dont get girl scout cookies in the UK, I'd love to try these. I'm going to bookmark this, and I'm going to check out your other knockoffs.
    *kisses* HH
    p.s. this is my first time visiting your blog, its fab

  25. Boy, do those look good. I love shortbread cookies.

  26. These are so pretty! I love a buttery shortbread! I bet they just melt in your mouth.


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