1jarmaraschino cherriesplus 1 tbsp of liquid from the jar
Cherry Icing ingredients
1tbsp butter, melted
1tbspmaraschino cherry juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Start by softening your butter in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave, this typically takes 15-20 seconds.
Then, move the butter to a large mixing bowl and whip it with a whisk for about 5 minutes. You can also use a Kitchen Aid mixer or a handheld electric mixer for this step too. The butter is whipped adequately when it looks more like whipped cream.
Next, lay about 20-25 maraschino cherries out on a napkin to dry. I gently pressed another napkin on top to absorb additional moisture.
After the butter is whipped well, add the sugar, almond extract, cornstarch and the flour and whisk well to combine. Continue to mix on high for 3-4 additional minutes.
If you have a 1 TBSP cookie scoop, using it makes this process very easy. Shortbread dough is very soft and buttery, so it is actually pretty difficult to shape by itself.
Using your cookie scoop, scoop out the dough and level it off using the side of the bowl.
Then, stick your thumb into the center of the scoop of leveled dough.
After that, put a cherry inside the thumbprint and gently press down.
Using the dough that has collected on the sides, cover the top of the cherry.
Push the lever to eject the cookie out of the scoop and into your hand, round out the cookie dough into balls.
Place each ball of dough onto your prepared baking sheet about 1-2" apart.
Repeat process until all cookie dough is used.
Put the cookies in the preheated oven and bake for 12-14 minutes, until the bottom of the cookies begin to lightly brown.
Once baking is complete, remove from the oven and let them sit for a few minutes to cool down on the pan. Shortbread cookies are soft and fragile even after baking, so if you try to move them too soon, they might crack or fall apart.
How to make Cherry Icing
In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, melted butter, and the maraschino cherry juice.
Then, put a plastic baggie over the top of a cup and scrape the icing into the baggie.
Proceed to cut a small piece off the corner from the baggie and drizzle over the top of each cookie.
How to make the cookies without cherries stuffed inside
If you do not want to add the cherry surprise center that is ok too! Follow all the same instructions until you get to the cherry center and jump to the instructions below.
Once the cookie dough is completely mixed, drop the cookie dough onto a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper.
Using the plastic wrap, gently form the dough into a cookie log if you will. The dough will shape easily- I like mine at about a 1.5" thick.
Then, place the cookie log into the freezer for 5-10 minutes. You do not want it frozen solid, you just want it cold enough so that you can slice.
After it is chilled, unwrap the cookie log and use a sharp, thin knife to slice the dough into rounds.
Proceed to place them out on a cookie sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes.
Cherry Shortbread Cookies are a great treat to surprise your family with, make a batch today and watch how quickly they disappear!