Shortbread cookies are a rich dessert, so reserve these for special occasions and limit yourself to just one or two cookies when you eat them. Because fat -- usually in the form of butter -- is an essential ingredient in shortbread cookies, it's difficult to make a "light" version of these treats.
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A typical serving of two commercially-prepared shortbread cookies contains about 164 calories. Larger cookies will have more calories and smaller cookies will have fewer. Nearly half of the calories from shortbread cookies come from fat. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends getting just 20 to 35 percent of calories from fat. Most of that is saturated fat, which is linked to heart disease; if you make shortbread at home, you can reduce the saturated fat content by substituting half of the butter for canola or vegetable oil.