These cookies are in honor of Valentine’s Day. This year I am having a few friends over for Valentine’s Day (my husband is working, as he always seems to be on this day), and I decided dessert will be homemade truffles and cookies. I have a friend who hates chocolate (I don’t get it, but I accept it), so I thought she might like these completely chocolate-free cookies. They are actually pretty darn good.
The cherry flavor is very subtle…it’s not in the cookies themselves- it’s in the glaze! You simply whisk together powdered sugar, some maraschino cherry juice (straight from the jar of maraschino cherries), and a bit of almond extract, and you have yourself a delicious cherry glaze that can be spread over the light, buttery shortbread cookies.
Give these a try!
For the cookies:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus a bit extra
Pinch of salt
For the glaze:
1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp. maraschino cherry juice
¼ tsp. almond extract
1.In a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat until fully combined.
2. Add 2¼ cups of the flour and the salt and continue to beat until completely combined. The mixture will be crumbly. At this point use your hands to bring the crumbs together to form a dough. Divide the dough in half and flatten slightly into a disk (this will make it easier to roll out later). Wrap each disk with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 min.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll each disk of dough out on a lightly floured surface to ¼ inch thick. Use a cookie cutter (or the top of a drinking cup) to cut the dough, then place each piece of dough on an ungreased cookie sheet about an inch or two apart. Bring the scraps of unused dough together and roll out again. Continue this process of cutting out cookies until all of the dough is used up. Bake the cookies for 11-15 minutes, or until the cookies are set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
*Larger cookies will take longer to bake, smaller cookies will take less time.
4. While the cookies are cooling, make the glaze. Whisk together the powdered sugar, cherry juice, and almond extract. Once the cookies have cooled, spread the glaze over the tops of the cookies.