Classic shortbread cookies are always at the top of baking lists every Christmas season. These cookies take on a slight Italian twist by using sweet amaretto in the dough. Used in many different cocktails, it is one of my favourite liquors to cook with because of it’s strong almond flavour. With a hint of vanilla and festive cranberries, these beautiful shortbread make for a beautiful home-made gift.

This recipe is easily cut in half, but once the shortbread are cooked they freeze well for early holiday prep. These cookies are quick to come together and use basic ingredients, aside from the amaretto. Melted white chocolate adds a hint of creamy sweetness and is a great little detail for decoration. Buttery, crisp and melt in your mouth, these are a holiday must this season!


Yield: 40 cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) room temperature unsalted butter
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon amaretto liquor
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, using mixer, beat butter, sugar, amaretto, salt until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add flour and mix on low until dough forms. Fold in cranberries.
  3. Form dough into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap then chill for 30 minutes. Remove dough from fridge and unwrap, placing the disk between two pieces of parchment paper. Roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thick.
  4. Using either a cookie cutter if you want specific shapes, or small sized glass, cut circles and re-roll until all dough is used.
  5. Bake on parchment paper until edges are just golden brown, about 12 minutes.
  6. Melt finely chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips in the microwave in 10 second increments, and then drizzle or dip onto cooled cookies.



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