Sour Cherry Shortbread

  • Yield: 32 pieces

These are some of the best shortbread cookies we’ve ever tasted. Any dried cherries or cranberries will work, but the Columbia River Tart Dried Cherries from Chukar Cherries in Prosser, Wash., are especially good. Order online at or call (800) 624-9544. For crispy cookies, keep the dough chilled between batches.


1cup light brown sugar
1/2cup cornstarch
3 1/2cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1teaspoon salt
1pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ¼-inch pieces
3/4cup coarsely chopped dried tart cherries
1tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Powdered sugar


  1. Combine brown sugar, cornstarch, flour and salt in a mixer bowl; stir well. Drop in butter and mix on low speed until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Stop mixing as soon as the dough starts to come together. Add cherries and vanilla and mix until the cherries are evenly distributed, 20 to 30 seconds.
  2. Scrape half of dough from bowl onto a sheet of parchment paper and roll the dough out ¼ inch thick. Lift parchment paper onto a rimmed baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining piece of dough. Chill both baking sheets in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 325F. Remove baking sheets from the refrigerator. Using a sharp knife or cookie cutter, cut the dough into 2-inch diamond or heart shapes. Place cookies on baking sheets. Each sheet of cookie dough should yield about 16 cookies. Place one sheet of cookies in the refrigerator while baking the other.
  4. Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, on center rack of oven for 20 to 25 minutes each. Cool on the baking sheet for at least 20 minutes, then dust with confectioners’ sugar.

—Adapted from Leslie Mackie’s Macrina Bakery & Cafe Cookbook.

Nutritional Info *per serving

  • Calories 189
  • Fat 11g
  • Sodium 73mg
  • Carbohydrate 20g
  • Fiber 0.5g
  • Protein 1.5g