Green Cherry Shortbread Cookies

12 Days of Cookies: Day 7

My grandfather loved chocolate covered cherries – well, really anything to do with chocolate and berries. It probably has to do with his German heritage (Black Forest cake, anyone?). Even though they don’t have chocolate I’m sure these cookies would have more than satisfied his sweet tooth.

Candied cherries originated in France in at least the 1300s. They were considered a luxury item and were well sought after until the food rationing laws were enforced in Great Britain after the Second World War. Winston Churchill’s love for candies cherries in his fruitcake is what ultimately saved these sweet tiny morsels.

This dough is essentially a whipped shortbread. Traditional shortbread only has four ingredients: flour, sugar, butter and salt. We are replacing the sugar with powdered sugar in this recipe and whipping it with the butter to make it light and airy. it will also seem like you don’t have very much cookie dough but a little bit goes a long way with these.

I like to rub some oil on my hands before handling this dough. Because it is such a different consistency from regular shortbread it can be very sticky and light to work with. When you get the cookies rolled gently press cherries into the top until they are about 2/3 covered (they’ll look similar to a bird’s nest). Just make sure you don’t eat too many of the cherries before they make it into the cookies!


  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 T cornstarch
  • 1 t salt
  • Candied green cherries (you may use red if you prefer)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking pan with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Whip together butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until light and airy.
  3. In a separate bowl sift together flour, cornstarch and salt.
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet mixture until well incorporated – you will want to keep whipping this for a few minutes for a finer consistency.
  5. Roll dough into tablespoon sized balls and gently press cherries into the top.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until they have lightly turned a brown/gold color.
  7. Allow cookies to rest on baking pan for five minutes before transferring to cooling racks.
  8. Store in an airtight container for up to one week or place in freezer.

This recipe yields approximately two dozen cookies depending upon size.

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