Cherry Shortbread Cookies

Ho, Ho, Ho... It's That Merry Time of Year


Melting Shortbread Cookies for Christmas Entertaining

There's nothing as nice as shortbread when bells are ringing, people are singing, our hearts are filled with Xmas cheer and our homes are filled with people both from afar and near. Houses are gaily decked out in the colors of the Season and at this special time of year, many cooks like to incorporate traditional colors into baked goods.

These melt-in-your mouth cherry shortbread cookies make for a perfect treat around Christmastime, with brightly-colored halved cherries decorating them.

Unlike the standard recipes for shortbread, the addition of corn starch gives these cookies their wonderful "melting" texture and they can be topped with both red or green cherries to reflect the colors of the Season.

With just four main ingredients + the cherries, these cookies are easy to make.

Make sure your butter is room temperature before you begin, for ease of mixing and best results.

Suggestion: make more than one batch because you'll be hard-pressed to keep a supply of these on hand!

Cherry Shortbread Cookies



  • 1 pound (2 cups) butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup corn starch, sifted
  • 3 cups flour, sifted
  • glazed cherries, red or green (or both)

Sift, Sift, Sift...

Sift your dry ingredients for the best results.

Note on Texture

Using a wooden spoon will result a slightly firmer dough, good for rolling into rounds as seen on this page.

If using beaters, these cookies will be more like a whipped shortbread with a softer texture, better suited to piping into light-as-a-cloud cookies that can still be decorated with cherries.

Whipped Shortbread

When prepared using beaters, a whipped cookie results.
When prepared using beaters, a whipped cookie results. | Source

How to Make These Cookies

  1. Cream room-temperature butter with a wooden spoon, whipping lightly.
  2. Add icing sugar gradually and cream until fluffy.
  3. Add cornstarch and continue stirring mixture.
  4. Add flour, then continue to work with hands, gently kneading and folding over until mixture forms into a large ball of dough.
  5. Roll into smaller balls (approx. 1" around) and place on a baking sheet.
  6. Indent with a finger to create a round hollow.
  7. Chill 1/2-1 hour so cookies hold shape while baking.
  8. While cookies are chilling, slice red and green cherries in halves and right before baking, place a halved cherry in each impression.
  9. Bake cherry shortbread at 300 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Reduce heat to 250 degrees toward end of cooking time.
  10. Check one cookie, making sure that cookies are cooked in the middle. If necessary, continue baking until done.
  11. Lift cookies onto a flat surface to cool.

Family Fun

If you have young ones who are eager to be part of the festivities, once your cookie dough is prepared and your cherries halved, why not ask them to add the cherries to the unbaked cookies?

Green and Red Cherries Add "Merry"


Prep Will Determine How These Cookies Turn Out

  • When mixed with a wooden spoon and kneaded with hands, a denser cookie results, which is ideal if you wish to roll your cookies.
  • These cookies can be prepared with beaters for a whipped cookie and spooned or piped onto a pan.

Either method produces fabulous Xmas shortbread cookies.

Baking Tip

To prevent over-browning, double-pan or place a second pan on bottom oven rack.

Do you Like Melting Cherry Shortbread?

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Now, Take One of Each!


A Perfect Christmas Shortbread

These cookies are easy to make, so tasty, and with their bright colors, so very festive.

5 stars from 1 rating of Cherry Shortbread

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© 2011 Athlyn Green

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Comments 3 comments

Athlyn Green profile image

Athlyn Green 10 months ago from West Kootenays Author

The texture in these is incredible.

Tuatha profile image

Tuatha 3 years ago from Fayetteville, NC

I definitely need to try this recipe this holiday season. So Simple! Thank You!

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

These cherry shortbread cookies sound great. Voted up and useful and will pin.

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