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Melt In Your Mouth Cherry Shortbread Cookies

Tender and beautiful cherry shortbread cookies that melt in your mouth.

What pretty little cherry gems these cookies are. Not only are they adorable, they taste fantastic. This is a simple dough but it creates a tender, melt in your mouth cherry shortbread. Gorgeous and they are great for a holiday cookie tray.

It is important not to overbake these so they stay tender.

Tender and beautiful cherry shortbread cookies that melt in your mouth.
Cherry Shortbread Cookies

Melt In Your Mouth Cherry Shortbread Cookies

Tender and beautiful cherry shortbread cookies that melt in your mouth.
4.64 from 25 votes
Prep Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 32 cookies
Calories 87 kcal


  • Small Cookie Scoop (1 Tbsp.)
  • Parchment Paper Sheets
  • Baking Sheet


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 Tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour spoon & leveled
  • 16 maraschino cherries drained and chopped


  • Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Switch mixer to medium speed and add the the sugar, vanilla and almond extracts. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer running on high, slowly drizzle in 2 Tablespoons of the cherry juice. Beat for 1 minute on high. Turn the mixer off and pour the flour into the wet ingredients. Turn the mixer on low and slowly beat until a very soft dough is formed, then, with the mixer still running on low, add the chopped cherries. Beat just until the cherries are mixed into the dough. Press the dough disc and tightly cover with plastic wrap to chill until firm, at least 4 hours (and up to 3 days). This is to prevent the cookies from spreading when baking.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Shape into balls using 2 Teaspoons of dough per cookie. For this I used a small cookie scoop to portion out the dough. If your dough gets sticky or too warm be sure to put it back in the fridge for a bit to chill it.
  • Bake for 8-9 minutes, or until very lightly browned on the edges. Be careful to not overbake.


Serving: 1gCalories: 87kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 1mgPotassium: 11mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 134IUCalcium: 4mgIron: 1mg
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Recipe slightly adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

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Recipe Rating


  1. can these be made w/out the cherries???? some holiday gift recipients may not appreciate the fruit, as in school, work, etc.

    1. If you don't want cherries I'd recommend trying a different recipe, since I can't vouch for how this would be without the cherries.

      1. Hi Vicki – I haven’t tried it so not sure about that. I would just worry they are too tender and might crumble when you went to cut them into bars. No way to know unless you try it. Good luck!

      1. 5 stars
        I made these last year for a family function and it was miraculous that they even made it there. Honestly, this recipe is INCREDIBLE and beyond delicious. I think I could eat my weight in these cookies! So moist, and delicious…. y’all, just make em already! Im about to make em again this year, and thanks to you, this is now a new tradition in our household. Great job! And so easy…❤👍

  2. Beautiful and festive cherry shortbread Christmas cookies, Ali! Pinned them to my Christmas Cookies board at Pinterest. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  3. Tried the cherry cookies today and I added shredded coconut, but I would suggest maybe 2 T of cherry juice or add a few drops of food coloring to get the beautiful red color in the picture. Thanks for receipe! They were delicious.

      1. Do you have too use almond extract?? I just went and bought everything too make them and then realized I forgot that:( Please help!

  4. 5 stars
    I’ve been following your recipe for several years and it’s my family’s favorite Christmas cookie! Have you tried freezing the dough and cooking from frozen? I haven’t tried but thinking of making several batches and trying.

  5. 5 stars
    Made these yesterday. Let chill for 4 hours. My cookies did not turn out like the photos. But this a very good recipe. The taste is wonderful. Grandson’s approved so I will make again. Am cooking the rest today after the dough has set in the refrigerator all night.