Love and Olive Oil

White Chocolate & Cherry Shortbread Cookies

White Chocolate & Cherry Shortbread Cookies

You can look at this post in one of two ways. Either I’m way late in posting my Christmas cookies, or I’m totally on top of it for Valentine’s day. I’ll let you decide. Because these precious pink and white cookies swing both ways.

The original recipe, discovered via Pinterest, called for rolling the dough into balls and then flattening them with a glass. But after a few less-than-pretty batches, I realized rolling the dough into a log and slicing it was going to produce much more uniform, nicely shaped cookies. And it did.

White Chocolate & Cherry Shortbread Cookies

Just try to ignore the fact that, when sliced, they totally look like salami.

I sent some of these out with our annual christmas cookie shipments, along with (what I called) Jackson Pollock Gingerbread (which really means I didn’t have the patience to deal with royal icing and went freeform instead), as well as some Mexican Chocolate cookies.

These cherry cookies are sweet and buttery, with just a hint of cherry. You can dip or drizzle the white chocolate, but these cookies definitely need the extra adornment to offset the salami-ness. Trust me. No one wants to eat a cookie that looks like lunchmeat.

No matter how cute the packaging might be.

White Chocolate & Cherry Shortbread Cookies

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2/3 cup maraschino cherries, drained
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
12 ounces good quality white chocolate, finely chopped and divided
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 drops red food coloring (optional)
2 teaspoons shortening


Pulse cherries briefly in a food processor until finely chopped. You should have 1/2 cup of chopped cherries; spread on a double layer of paper towels to remove any excess liquid.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and sugar. Add the butter and pulse until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add drained cherries and 4 ounces of the chopped chocolate. Pulse briefly to combine. Finally, add almond extract and, if desired, food coloring. Knead mixture until it comes together in a smooth ball.

Divide dough in half, and roll each half into a cylinder approximately 1 1/2-inches in diameter by 10-inches long. Roll up in parchment paper or plastic wrap, twisting ends to seal. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Using a sharp knife, slice chilled dough into 3/8-inch-thick slices. Arrange on a non-stick or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until centers are set and bottoms are lightly golden. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

In a small saucepan or a microwave safe bowl, combine remaining 8 ounces white chocolate and the shortening. Cook and stir over low heat or microwave on low power, stirring often, until melted. Transfer melted chocolate into a squeeze bottle fitted with a small round tip and drizzle over tops of cookies. Alternatively, you can dip cookies in melted chocolate and roll edges in decorative sprinkles. Place cookies on waxed paper until set.

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens.

All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

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  1. If left more than an hour, how long is the dough good for in the refrigerator?

  2. How do you keep the melted chocolate in the squeeze bottle from solidifying? I assume you use the shortening so the chocolate surface has a shine when it solidifies.

  3. Can this recipe be done without a food processor?

    • Sure. Check out the original recipe, which has you finely chop the cherries and mix them by hand. I found it more efficient to use the processor, but you could do it either way. :)

  4. Thanks for sharing! I tried this recipe tonight, and my cookies turned out beautifully!

  5. These look so beautiful! Where can I purchase those gift boxes?

  6. The finished product looks delish, but I was definitely confused for a sec, I totally thought it was salami too! For a second I thought it was a horrible joke, a dessert like that couldn’t possibly be salami with some sort of cheesy
    dip drizzled on top…

  7. Yum! They look and sound delicious!

  8. i ADORE cherry, but i can see the similarity w/ salami. LOL

  9. Those are so pretty! Just right for Valentine’s day in that light pink!

  10. These are beautiful cookies! Even the sliced dough picture is pretty!

  11. Not only do they look delicious, but the packaging is so perfect and lovely! Beautiful!

  12. I’ve been on a cherry kick recently, so these are great! And I’ll totally assume you purposly saved this post for Valentines day, they work perfectly!

  13. Divine. Definitely – an absolute must for Valentines Day.

  14. So elegant and yet so simple. They’d be perfect for Valentine’s Day! XOXO

  15. Love the packaging you used to send out your cookies, especially the little heart stickers!

  16. These look very tasty, the combo of white chocolate with fruit is definitely a winner in my book. Beautiful pictures as well!

  17. These look amazing! Are they crunchy or crumbly? You should also make shortbread cookies that look like crackers and people will thank you made them snack tray!

  18. These cookies are so cute and pink! I love them.

  19. These are beautiful! Think i will try them for valentine’s day!

  20. These are so cute. They remind me of the free cherry chip cookies I used to get when I went to the store with my mom. Ah, the good ole’ days. I love the boxes you used. Where did you find those?

  21. so…. where did you get those cute bakery boxes? nice job on the details – they really make it perfect.

  22. These look wonderful and I love the packaging!

  23. I think you are on top of it for Valentine’s day! ;) These are gorgeous!

  24. I don’t know about the salami thing…I reckon my boyfriend might be more keen on them if he thought they looked like sliced meat! Gorgeous little cookies, as always, and perfect for Valentine’s Day or Christmas :-)

  25. How utterly orgeous these are! Love love love!

  26. Delightful cookies! And your packaging is adorable! Exquisite for Valentine’s Day.

  27. Adorable packaging!

  28. This look so pretty. They are such dainty and whimsical cookies, perfect for the famous upcoming holiday <3

  29. Oh man these look amazing and I just love you packaging! Just beautiful!!

  30. Teehee, I love how they look like salami when they’re raw. And I have a friend who is OBSESSED with maraschino cherries. He’s having surgery in a month, and I think I’ll make these for him as “get well” treats :) Thanks for sharing!

  31. Love these, gorgeous color!

  32. Mmm such a yummy looking cookie :)

  33. Goregous!

  34. Oh these look delicious and are packaged so adorably!!

  35. They’re absolutely beautiful! I made pink cookies last week and these are stunning!

  36. Thse are simply gorgeous, and perfection on the striping!

  37. I was planning to order ‘stuff’ for my kids valentines day parties for school but this is much better idea. These are beautiful cookies!

  38. These sound fantastic, even if they do look a little like cured meat.

  39. The packaging is simply adorable. And you’re right, these cookies would be perfect for either holiday!

  40. I actually received a batch of these from someone else in that cookie swap! They were extremely good. Now I hope I have some cherries in my fridge so I can make them!

  41. Perfect for V-Day! So pretty.

  42. wow these are so pretty!!

  43. Oh these are so pretty! Definitely a perfect valentine’s cookie!

  44. Ive never had cherry shortbread, but what a gorgeous treat for Valentine’s day :) Very pretty, and I bet very subtly tasty.

  45. These are beautiful – and really fun! Perfect for Valentine’s Day!

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