With the Christmas season each year, are you making the same cookies over and over? Why not try these maraschino shortbread cookies this holiday for a change. The red cherries are perfect for the season of colors and a crunchy cookie for the entire family to enjoy. This recipe is simple, and even the kids can help to make them this season.

What is a shortbread cookie?
A shortbread cookie is a biscuit made with sugar, butter, and different types of flour. Additional ingredients may be present in the dough, like nuts, dried fruits, and chocolate chips.

Shortbread cookies have a crumbly texture because of its high-fat content provided by the butter. In ancient times, shortbread was only for weddings, Christmas, and the new year because it was a luxury cookie. These cookies are traditionally formed into three shapes (1. large circles in segments, 2. individual circles, 3. Thick rectangular slabs cut into fingers). Some of these cookies have holes punched into them for an even distribution of heat for cooking.

Shortbread cookies originated in Scotland when leftover bread would roll into sugar and spices then bake for a second time until it dries out and hardened. It was then called a rusk.

On what occasion are they served?
They are the perfect treat for the Christmas holidays and other recreational activities. Serve them on dessert tables and at tea parties or on happy hour events.

What pairs well with them?
They pair well with tea or coffee. Have it as a snack or with cereals and ice creams, frozen jellies, chocolate dip, and jams.

How do the main ingredients work?

Unsalted butter gives the cookies a crispy texture and adds flavor.
Icing sugar gives a smoother dough and texture.
Maraschino cherry adds to the physical appearance of the cookies and adds a slightly gummy texture.
All-purpose flour adds structure and bines all the ingredients together.

How is it done?
In an electric mixer, combine the unsalted room temperature butter with the icing sugar and pure vanilla extract and beat until smooth and fluffy. Gradually mix in the salt with the flour until combined. After mixing, remove the bowl from the standing mixer and fold in the cherries and chocolate chip cookies. Form a log with the dough about 2 inches thick and wrap it with plastic. Let the dough chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours. After 2 hours, cut the log into 1/4 inch thick slices and lay them on a baking tray with parchment paper. Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes until they are golden brown. Allow them to cool on the tray before attempting to remove them from the tray.

Why should you make them?

These cookies are a boost of quick energy. They are lightweight and easy to digest. Shortbread cookies are the perfect treat to have around during the Christmas holiday. It’s the season of giving, and these cookies would be the best gift for your family and friends.

Key terms/word

Rusk is a hard, dry, twice-baked biscuit using leftover bread dough or cake.
Maraschino is a liquor that is distilled from marasca cherries. This liquid is also used in the brine to preserve the cherries that we buy in the store.

Frequently asked questions
Question Why is the dough chilled?
Answer A chilled dough allows the butter to harden, which prevents spreading in the oven.

Question Do I need to use the dough right after the 2 hours?
Answer No, you may prepare the dough a day or two days before using it.

Question How long do these cookies keep?
Answer These shortbread cookies will keep for up to 4 weeks in an airtight container at room temperature or longer in the refrigerator.


Let your Christmas holiday be of good cheer with these crispy shortbread cookies. The recipe is easy to follow and only takes a few items to make. Try something new for the holidays.


Yield: 24 Serving

Maraschino Cherry Shortbread Cookies

Maraschino Cherry Shortbread Cookies

Crunchy maraschino shortbread cookies for this holiday season!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes


  • 2cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chip
  • 3/4 cup maraschino cherries
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract


  1. Combine the butter and icing sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth and fluffy and add the pure vanilla extract
  2. Gradually add the flour and salt until incorporated.
  3. Remove from the mixer and fold in the chocolate chips and chopped maraschino cherries.
  4. Form the dough firmly into a log that is about 2 inches thick. Wrap the dough with plastic and let it chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  5. Prepare a baking sheet while the dough rests. Line the tray with parchment paper then preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  6. Cut the log in slices about 1/4 inches thick. Place them on the baking tray an inch apart.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes until the top of the cookies are golden brown.
  8. Let them cool on the baking tray before removing them.


While cutting the log into slices, it may crumble but just press it back together with your hands.

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