Berry Shortbread Dreams
Berry Shortbread Dreams are the perfect little treat for the holidays. An almond-flavored shortbread base is filled with raspberry jam and then iced with an almond glaze. They are outrageously delicious. No kidding. We love these jewels and believe you will too! We made this delightful Taste of Home cookie recipe a few years ago for our Christmas Cookie Extravaganza. Raspberry preserves and almond extract are the primary flavors in this light shortbread-type cookie.
These beautiful cookies look like they take hours to make but they are really quite easy. The shortbread dough takes only a few minutes to whip up. Then you need to refrigerate it for an hour so it’s easier to work with. I recommend chilling the dough an hour before rolling it into balls. Then chill the balls again so it holds its shape better while baking.
Raspberry preserves are spooned into indentions in the cookies made with either your thumb or the bottom of a wooden spoon (our preferred method). Finally, after the Berry Shortbread Dreams are baked you drizzle the cookies with a simple powdered sugar icing. None of the steps takes over five minutes each (except the chilling and the baking).
I’ve increased the almond extract to a full teaspoon in both the shortbread dough and the icing and I think it offers an exceptional increase in taste to the original version. I found the recipe in the Fall Baking Magazine, but it was also published in the annual recipes edition, 2001.
These quick and easy cookies can be made with ANY kind of jam or preserves you have on hand and they turn out fantastic. My pictures show a single drizzle of icing and a double-drizzle. You can see which way you prefer and pipe the icing on according to your taste.
Berry Shortbread Dreams are great cookies to provide for kid’s snacks, to take along in the car for vacations or long trips, for soccer practice, or especially for Ladies’ Luncheons, brunches, baby or bridal showers as they are so pretty and adorable to look at (and they taste great, too!)
I originally published this recipe in June 2012 when I began my food blog. I remade the recipe in April 2013 but felt the cookies flattened out a little too much. We remade this recipe (November 2017) for our Christmas Cookie Extravaganza this year. That’s why I’ve added the additional chilling time and have a few better step-by-step pictures included below.
My husband is a gadget guy, and he actually baked these cookies this go around. He thought squirting the raspberry preserves with a syringe or turkey baster was an easier method that using a spoon. He also held the dough balls in one hand while inserting the bottom of the wooden spoon with the other. This prevented the cookie from falling apart or cracking apart while the dough was still cold. It also gave him a little more leverage so he could squeeze the cookie dough back together after inserting the hole in the cookie.
The results? We thought they were just about perfect. 🙂 They certainly are perfect for holiday parties, Christmas cookie exchanges or other special occasions. But you better bake up a batch for yourself to be sure. 😉
Don’t Berry Shortbread Dreams look dreamy? These festive cookies are not only beautiful, they taste divine!
Berry Shortbread Dreams are a great cookie for your Christmas baking list.
Take a plate of these tasty jewels to an office party and you will come home empty-handed!
Berry Shortbread Dreams are great for holiday entertaining but you can make them all year round. The ingredients are readily available.
Here’s what I did.
I used these ingredients for the cookie.
Soften butter and put in large mixing bowl. Add sugar and almond extract.
Cream with an electric mixer until smooth.
Add half the UNBLEACHED all-purpose flour. (Bleached flour toughens baked goods). On slow speed of an electric mixer work in the first batch of flour. Add remaining flour.
Work the second addition of flour in slowly with your electric mixer. Shape mixture into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.
Roll dough into balls and chill the dough another hour.
Spray cookie sheets with cooking spray. Hold a ball of dough in your hand and with the end up a wooden spoon gently insert the back of the spoon into the ball of dough to get an indentation.
If you don’t hold the dough in your hands to keep it secure the dough may break apart or crack.
My husband held the balls in his hands like this so he could keep the dough together so it didn’t fall apart.
Place balls with indentations on prepared baking sheets.
The first batch he used a spoon to fill the holes.
You have to be careful when filling the indentations. Try not to goop the jelly all over the cookie! I used raspberry preserves with seeds although the original recipe calls for seedless jam.
The second batch he got creative and found a syringe that he filled with the raspberry preserves and inserted the preserves that way. He said a turkey baster would have been even better but we couldn’t find ours.
Bake in 350 oven for 14-18 minutes. Ours took 32 minutes! I rotated the racks every eight minutes. Cool cookies completely before adding the icing.
I used these ingredients plus water for the icing.
Meanwhile, make icing: Pour powdered sugar into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add almond extract and a tablespoon of water. NO MORE! (I was making icing for about 12 batches of cookies so that’s why it looks like a lot!)
Whisk ingredients together. If you need to add more water add it a dropful at a time so you don’t overdo it. You don’t want thin, runny icing.
Remove cooled cookies to cookie racks. Spoon the icing into a zip-lock bag and cut the tip off the corner. (Make a small hole!) Drizzle icing over top of cookies.
Berry Shortbread Dreams are so scrumptious you will find it hard to stop at just one!
These tasty cookies are to die for!
Berry Shortbread Dreams are wonderful. Your family will love coming home to these festive cookies for dinner.
Here’s the recipe.
BERRY SHORTBREAD DREAMS
(Recipe adapted from Taste of Home Fall Baking Magazine)
- 1 cup butter
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 2 cups [url href=”http://www.goldmedalflour.com/” target=”_blank” title=”gold medal unbleached flour”]Gold Medal[/url] UNBLEACHED all-purpose flour (bleached flour toughens cookies)
- 1/3 to ½ cup seedless raspberry jam[br]
- 1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 ½ tsp. almond extract
- 2 tbsp. water
- In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and extract until light and fluffy.
- Add half of the flour and mix on low speed of electric mixture.
- Add remaining flour and mix on low speed of electric mixer until dough forms a ball.
- Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.
- Roll into 1-inch balls.
- Place 1-2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets.
- Make an indentation in the center of each cookie with your thumb.
- Fill indentation with raspberry jam.
- Bake at 350˚ for 14-18 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
- Remove to wire racks to cool.
- Spoon additional jam into cookies if desired. [br]
- Combine confectioners’ sugar, extract and enough water to achieve drizzling consistency.
- Scoop icing mixture into a zip-lock bag.
- Cut off the tip of one side of the bag.
- Drizzle icing over the cookies.
These dreamy cookies are terrific for holiday baking like Christmas, Valentine’s Day or other special occasions. If you enjoy raspberry jam, you’ll find these cookies absolutely delightful.
Each Berry Shortbread Dream is filled with the awesome flavors of almond extract and raspberry preserves. They’re heavenly.