Raspberry Almond Shortbread Cookies

With the holidays right around the corner, I found myself craving a new cookie recipe to add to my book of go-to recipes. Cookies are appropriate for just about any occasion, and –for the most part, although I seem to be the one who often proves this wrong – they’re harder to mess up than cakes or pies, which makes them perfect for social gatherings. They’re quick to prepare, can be easily sized up or down in quantity, appealing to most tastes and easy to store as leftovers.

This raspberry almond shortbread cookie recipe from Parent Pretty (originally appearing in Better Homes & Gardens magazine) reminded me of one of my all-time-favorite recipes for butter-based almond cookies, but with the addition of the raspberry texture and taste – not to mention, six ingredients and three steps sounded pretty appealing after a long day.

Crissy, author of Parent Pretty, raved about this recipe, calling it her “hands-down favorite recipe of the year.” Her commenters seemed pretty pleased with it, too, so I decided to give it a try.

Thank you to Crissy of Parent Pretty and to Better Homes & Gardens for this week’s recipe!


 

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Cookies, Step-by-Step Photos

Start by adding 1 cup of softened butter to a mixing bowl.

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Beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds until smooth.

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Add 2/3 cup granulated sugar.

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Add 1/2 teaspoon almond extract and beat until well combined.

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Gradually mix in 2 cups of flour.

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Cover the dough and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour or until it is easy to handle. (Mine was pretty stiff, but I refrigerated just in case).

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

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Using your thumb, press an indentation into the center of each ball. (I actually found that it was easier to create the right shape using my middle finger).

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Spoon 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of seedless raspberry jam into each cookie.

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Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool on cookie sheets for 1 minute, then transfer to a rack to cool.

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My first dozen at the 10 minute cook time in the original recipe came out slightly overdone and pretty flat – not quite like the recipe photographs. In addition, they were overly crispy and that affected the taste. For the second dozen, I reduced cooking time to 8 minutes. This was the result:

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An improvement, certainly, but I still wasn’t satisfied. For the final dozen, I stuck with my 8-minute cook time, but I added a step and refrigerated the cookies for 5 minutes after shaping them (and before adding the jam). Butter that is too warm before baking causes cookies to spread out in the oven, and I suspected that the process of rolling and shaping the cookies was warming up the butter in the dough too much. I also used my middle finger to make a vertical impression in the dough, rather than at an angle, and used just 1/4 teaspoon of jam to fill each cookie to just below the edge of the depression. I thought this would improve the appearance of the cookies, and I had found the amount of jam (which is essentially sugar) to be overpoweringly sweet in the first two batches.

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Finally, I achieved the result I wanted. Not only did this batch look better, the taste and texture were much improved.

For the icing, add 1 cup powdered sugar to a small bowl.

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Add 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract.

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Add 1 teaspoon water, and stir. Add more water if necessary to achieve a consistency that will drizzle.

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Use a spoon, toothpick or fork to drizzle icing over the cookies in a back-and-forth motion. Here is a Better Homes & Gardens tutorial for drizzling.

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Enjoy!

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Recipes can be refrigerated for up to a week, or frozen to serve in a month or two.

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After I got this recipe down, it was a home run. I’m a sucker for butter cookies, and the almond in these adds a fantastic flavor. The amount of jam in the final batch was perfect for my husband and me, with just the right amount of sweetness allowing the flavor of the cookie dough to come through. Factor in simple instructions, six ingredients (most of which are household staples) and an easily adjustable yield, and this recipe is one for the book!


 

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Cookies Recipe 

Yield: 3 dozen

Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup seedless raspberry jam

For the drizzle:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 to 4 teaspoons water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons almond extract

1. In a medium bowl, beat butter on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add the 2/3 cup granulated sugar and ½ teaspoon almond extract. Beat until well combined. Gradually mix in the 2 cups of flour. Cover the dough and chill for 1 hour or until easy to handle.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Using your thumb, press an indentation into the center of each ball. (Optional: Refrigerate 5-10 minutes to re-firm dough). Spoon ¼-1/2 teaspoon of jam into each cookie. Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool on cookie sheet for one minute before transferring to cooling rack.

3. For icing, in a small bowl combine powdered sugar, 1 ½ teaspoons almond extract and 1 teaspoon water. Add water as needed to achieve drizzling consistency. Use a spoon, toothpick or fork to drizzle cookies using a back-and-forth motion, and enjoy.

 

If you try this recipe or have any tips to share, leave a comment below!

 

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