Shortbread Cookies with Cherries

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5 from 10 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes

This Shortbread Cookies with Cherries is a classic. Pure buttery goodness with a pop of cherry flavor. This decadent cookie melts in your mouth.

Shortbread Cookies with Cherries in close up.

These Shortbread Cookies with Cherries are some of the best tasting cookies. They are rich, crisp and buttery. They have been around since the 12th century and have been going strong because they are so epic. Here is the history of this classic Christmas Cookies.

Want to make the holidays easier? Check my list of the best recipes.


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What We Love About This Cherry Shortbread Cookies Recipe

This recipe is pure goodness. Rich, decadent, crisp and addictive. To make these cookies the best, try using the best quality ingredients that you an find.

  • 30 Minutes: They come together quick and are so easy.
  • Easy Ingredients: Only 5 ingredient that we all have in our kitchen.
  • Family Friendly: These cookies are such a staple cookie. A true family favorite with just the right amount of sweetness.
  • Gift: Such an impressive hostess gift our wonderful for cookie trays or exchanges.
A basket of Shortbread Cookies with Cherries.

Ingredient Notes

  • Butter: For this shortbread, you truly want to use butter. No substitutions. Furthermore, try and get a good quality butter.
  • Vanilla Extract: Again, use good quality pure vanilla extract.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Alternate Extract – Try using almond extract for almond flavor or another flavor.
  • Sprinkles – Top with fun sprinkles.

How to Make Christmas Shortbread Cookies

These are the basic steps for making easy shortbread cookies. Please refer to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions and nutrition information.

Mixing the cookie dough.

STEP 1: PREP

First, preheat oven to 350F. and then line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

STEP 2: MIX

Then in a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract and then slowly beat in the flour until just incorporated.

STEP 3: SCOOP

Next, use a cookie scoop to portion out the dough on the prepared cookie sheets, about 1″ apart and then use an inverted teaspoon to press down on the cookies, flattening them and making a small dip in the center of each cookie.

Scooping the shortbread onto the baking sheet.

STEP 4: BAKE

Finally press a maraschino cherry securely into the indent on each shortbread and next bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Prep and Storage Tips for Holiday Shortbread Cookies

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE AHEAD OF TIME

Of course, you can make this cookie batter ahead of time and cook when you are ready, overnight is ideal. However, keep it wrapped well in plastic wrap.

HOW TO STORE THIS RECIPE

The easy shortbread cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week at room temperature for optimum freshness. Alternatively, store in the refrigerator for 10 days.

HOW TO FREEZE THIS RECIPE

Indeed, they can be frozen in the cookie dough form or cooked cookies for up to three months in an airtight container or freezer bag.

Frequently Asked Questions

NO SCOOP?

Try forming the cookie dough into a dough log and slice the dough to make the cookies. This is ideal for refrigerated dough it is great for prep time.

CAN I SUBSTITUTE DIFFERENT TOPPINGS?

Yes, try an almond on top with almond extract in the cookies. Also, a cup chocolate chips can be spread out on top in place of the candied cherries.

CAN THIS RECIPE BE DOUBLED OR HALVED?

Of course, try doubling or even tripling this recipe. Use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment for large batches to insure that the mixture is mixed well.

WHY ARE MY SHORTBREAD HARD?

There are a few reasons that this can happen. For Example:
> The butter is melted, never let your butter get so soft it is melted, it will absorb too fast.
>Overmixing. If you overmix your dough your cookie will be tough.
>Over bake. Shortbread should be that white look, just barely golden.

CORNSTARCH?

Scottish shortbreads use some cornstarch to make the shortbread melt in your mouth good, try replacing half a cup of the flour with shifted cornstarch.

A stack of shortbread with cherries.

Expert Tips for Making This Recipe

  • Chill: Chill your dough so that it holds it shape well.
  • Unsalted Butter: Use unsalted butter and add just a pinch to the recipe.
  • Cook Tip: Try cooking the cookies low and slow around 200 degrees for that light color you desire.
  • Variation tip: Add a little rice flour to the recipe to make that sandy texture.
  • Alternate ingredient: Replace the vanilla extract with the almond extract, it goes so well with the cherry flavor.
  • Ice: Drizzle a little icing, dark chocolate or white chocolate on top of the christmas shortbread cookies.

What to Serve with Shortbread Cookies with Cherries

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Cherry Shortbread Cookies on a round wicker dish.
5 from 10 votes

Shortbread Cookies with Cherries

Yield: 40 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
This Shortbread Cookies with Cherries is a classic. Pure buttery goodness with a pop of the cherry flavor. This decadent cookie melts in your mouth.
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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup White Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 3 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 35-40 Maraschino Cherries

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets.
  • In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract and then slowly beat in the flour until just incorporated.
  • Use a cookie scoop to portion out the dough on the prepared cookie sheets, about 1″ apart.
  • Use an inverted teaspoon to press down on the cookies, flattening them and making a small dip in the center of each cookie.
  • Press a maraschino cherry securely into the indent on each shortbread.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly golden brown.
  • Cool on the cookie sheet for about 15 minutes.

Expert Tips

 
  • Chill: Chill your dough so that it holds it shape well.
  • Unsalted Butter: Use unsalted butter and add just a pinch to the recipe.
  • Cook Tip: Try cooking the cookies low and slow around 200 degrees for that light color you desire.
  • Variation tip: Add a little rice flour to the recipe to make that sandy texture.
  • Alternate ingredient: Replace the vanilla extract with the almond extract, it goes so well with the cherry flavor.
  • Ice: Drizzle a little icing, dark chocolate or white chocolate on top of the christmas shortbread cookies.

Estimated Nutritional Information

Calories: 123kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 61mg | Potassium: 15mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 215IU | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information provided are estimates. To learn more about how I calculate this information go to www.itisakeeper.com/about-its-a-keeper/privacy-disclosure-policies/
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: butter, christmas cookies, cookies

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3 thoughts on “Shortbread Cookies with Cherries”

  1. 5 stars
    I love shortbread and I love cherries so this recipe was a real winner for me. I took it to a cookie swap and they were popular there too!

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe! Will surely have this again! It’s really easy to make and it tasted so delicious! Highly recommended!

    Reply

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