Maraschino Cherry Shortbread Christmas Cookies

Maraschino Cherry Shortbread Christmas Cookies are a delightful and colorful addition to your holiday baking repertoire. These buttery, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies are adorned with vibrant red and green maraschino cherries, making them the perfect treat for the holiday season. Whether you’re planning to leave them out for Santa or share them with friends and family, these cookies will add a festive touch to your Christmas celebrations. In this recipe, we’ll guide you through creating your own Maraschino Cherry Shortbread Christmas Cookies that are sure to become a holiday tradition.


For the Shortbread Cookies:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and finely chopped

For Decorating:

  • Additional maraschino cherries, drained and halved
  • Green maraschino cherries, drained and halved (for a festive touch)


Step 1: Prepare the Cookie Dough

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened unsalted butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the pure vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour and salt.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture, mixing until a soft dough forms.
  5. Gently fold in the finely chopped maraschino cherries. The dough will take on a beautiful pink color.

Step 2: Shape and Chill the Dough

  1. Divide the cookie dough in half and shape each half into a log or rectangular block, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
  2. Wrap the dough logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until firm. Chilling the dough makes it easier to slice and helps the cookies maintain their shape during baking.

Step 3: Preheat the Oven

  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C) and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Step 4: Slice and Bake the Cookies

  1. Remove the chilled dough logs from the refrigerator.
  2. Using a sharp knife, slice the dough into rounds, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. You can make the cookies as thick or thin as you prefer.
  3. Place the cookie rounds on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart.
  4. Press half of a maraschino cherry or a green maraschino cherry half onto the center of each cookie for a festive touch.

Step 5: Bake and Cool

  1. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for approximately 12-15 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden. The cookies will remain pale in color.
  2. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.

Step 6: Enjoy!

  1. Once the cookies are completely cool, they are ready to be enjoyed. Serve them on a festive plate or package them in decorative boxes for a thoughtful homemade gift.


Maraschino Cherry Shortbread Christmas Cookies are a delightful twist on classic shortbread, perfect for adding a burst of color and flavor to your holiday celebrations. These buttery cookies, speckled with bits of maraschino cherries and topped with more cherries, are a festive treat that embodies the spirit of Christmas. Whether you’re sharing them with loved ones or leaving them out for Santa, these cookies are sure to bring joy and a touch of sweetness to your holiday festivities.

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