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White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookie Recipe {Virtual Holiday Cookie Exchange}

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white chocolate cherry shortbread cookies

Jessica from Pen N’ Paperflowers and Kim from The TomKat Studio are hosting a fun Bloggers + Bakers Holiday Cookie Exchange this week and I’m excited to be a part of it today!

I wanted to do something a little different and decided to try out a White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread recipe I’ve been eyeing for a while.This was my first try at this recipe, and I’m happy to report they were quick to make and turned out very yummy, especially if you’re a shortbread fan! I also opted for an easier decorating method than the half-dipped look from the original BHG recipe. After struggling with getting the dipping lines to look “clean” on a few, I decided that just piping frosting in the centers of the other 47 cookies would make life a WHOLE lot easier….and they still taste the same. ;)


To add a fun twist for holiday gifting, I also came up with an easy way to package them up to look like a pair of cherries using red cocktail napkins and floral wire + a free holiday gift tag “leaf” that you can download right here. Hope you like!

Scroll down for the full recipes, and check out a list of all the creative ladies involved in the virtual cookie exchange below – just click on a link to view their creations. Happy baking…and gifting! :)


{adapted from BHG}


  • 1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cold butter
  • 4 ounces white chocolate baking squares or white chocolate chips, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 drops red food coloring (optional)
  • White nonpareils and/or red edible glitter (optional)
  • White Candy Melts (1 bag)*

* You can also substitute 8 0z white chocolate + 2 tsp shortening for the White Candy Melts.


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spread cherries on paper towels to drain well.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in drained cherries and 4 ounces (2/3 cup) of the chopped chocolate. Stir in almond extract and, if desired, food coloring. Knead mixture until it forms a smooth ball.
3. Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in sugar, flatten balls to 1-1/2-inch rounds.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until centers are set. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.
5. Melt white candy melts according to directions. Dip half of each cookie into chocolate, allowing excess to drip off OR pipe circles on top with a pastry bag. If desired, embellish with nonpareils and/or edible glitter. Place cookies on waxed paper until chocolate is set.

Makes about 50 cookies.


diy cherry cookie packaging

You’ll need:

  • red cocktail napkins
  • floral wire
  • wire cutters
  • red yarn
  • hot glue (optional)


1. Place a saran-wrapped stack of 3 cookies in the center of a completely open, unfolded cocktail napkin.
2. Gather the napkin around the cookie stack and twist at the top. Secure the twist with yarn, and trim excess napkin to shorten the “twist”.
3. Add a dab of hot glue inside the “twist” and insert one end your floral wire “stem”. Repeat with a 2nd “cherry” to form a pair.
4. Cut holiday gift tag “leaves” to attach to the top of the stems. Download them for free right here!


Here’s a list of the other ladies involved in the cookie exchange. Click on a link to view their creations!


  1. Glory/ Glorious Treats December 5, 2012 at 10:36 am

    These are so cute and creative!! And they sound delicious too! Beautiful post!

    • jenn s. December 5, 2012 at 10:50 am

      Thanks, Glory! And your cookies are ridiculously beautiful… wish I had half the decorating skills you do! ;)

  2. Karen December 5, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    I’m in love with the cherry tag and cute packaging!!! I don’t think I’ve ever had cherry cookies, so it’s something different to try. Thanks.

    • alyssa December 5, 2012 at 1:56 pm

      You’re welcome! When you try it out, let us know how you like them!

  3. […] Jenn | Hostess with the Mostess […]

  4. Marian (Sweetopia) December 5, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Oh my goodness, what a brilliant and adorable way of presenting your cookies! Love everything about this post!

  5. The Partiologist December 5, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    What a super cute idea for Christmas – Love the Cherry Tag!

  6. Patti Gramza December 6, 2012 at 4:37 am

    So soooooooooo cute and yummy too I am sure! Wonderful! :) Cookies hugs,Patti

  7. Carrie (The Cake Blog) December 6, 2012 at 6:27 am

    Ridiculously adorable Jenn!! I love, love, love it! With a cherry on top!

  8. […] Jenn | Hostess with the Mostess […]

  9. […] U slučaju da ovih dana idete nekome na rođendan ili kakvu zabavu, ponesite poklon u obliku velikih višanja. Potrebni su vam keksići koje i sami možete napraviti i to od pravih višanja ili barem njihove arome koje ćete onda umotati u crveni papir za umatanje, a za stapke možete koristiti zelenu žicu. Bit će to fora poklon. Kako izraditi kekse, a i ovaj cool omot pogledajte na stranici na blogu HWTM. […]

  10. nora November 3, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Making them now the recipe just didn’t say when to put in shortering.

    • tami November 11, 2014 at 8:22 am

      I was just wondering the same thing???? Nora… when do we put in the shortening???

    • Virginia Schwin November 12, 2014 at 6:10 pm

      Funny, I assumed the shortening went in with the candy melts, my question is where do you put the second half of the chopped white chocolate. ingredients list calls for 8 oz step 2 calls for half of them but the rest of the directions do not indicate what to do with the other 4 ounces

  11. 전세계의 최신 영어뉴스 듣기 - 보이스뉴스 잉글리쉬 November 11, 2014 at 8:44 am

    […] Cherry Shortbread Cookies – with white chocolate, these are pretty and yummy. […]

  12. Sarah S November 14, 2014 at 8:01 am

    The source recipe does not call for white candy melts, but uses the other 4 oz of white chocolate and shortening to dip the cookies in!

  13. Kathy November 16, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    I make these every year for Christmas and sometimes in heart shapes for Valentines Day. They are my personal favorite and my family and friends love them.

  14. […] White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread from Hostess With the Mostess […]

  15. 3littleprinces December 10, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Do these freeze well?

  16. Daphne Beaudoin December 20, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Hello, I just have a quick question regarding the White Chocolate Cherry Shrortbread cookie recipe. The recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of shortening but I do not see what to do with it, and also it calls for 8 oz. of the white chocolate but only says to use 4 oz. Just wondering if I missed a step or something! Thanks!

    • jenn s. December 24, 2014 at 9:03 am

      Hi Daphne –
      Thanks for the catch – and so sorry about that! I substituted White Candy Melts for the extra white chocolate and shortening called for in the source recipe, but forgot to remove them from the ingredients list here. (sigh…) The recipe has been updated now – sincere apologies for any inconvenience! Happy Holidays :)

  17. Christmas Cookies 2015 | CarrieDaway June 19, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    […] Sunday afternoon Cara and I spent hours in the kitchen baking cookies. It was our third year carrying out this tradition and I believe our most successful attempt.  We were pleased with all the recipes this year.  The eggnog cookie recipe is fantastic.  It is easy to make and delicious.  I stopped experimenting with homemade frosting because it never turned out but this was a winner.  Cara didn’t get her recipes from a website but here are similar recipes: Date pinwheel cookies and Orange sugar cookies.  The most popular cookie was the chocolate covered cherry shortbread cookies.  It was heavily altered but based on this recipe. […]

  18. Cathy DeMattia October 10, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    It can be used in place of the white chocolate melts in case you don't have them or cannot find them in the store.

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