Every Christmas for as long as I can remember my Mom made these little coin-sized shortbread cookies with green and red maraschino cherries (before we go any further, it’s an absolute myth that maraschino cherries contain formaldehyde). This is another well-loved recipe from my ancient copy of A Guide to Good Cooking by Five Roses Flour. I’ve also decorated these tasty little nubbins with a single silver dragée, which makes them look so delicate and beautiful (I couldn’t find my dragée stash when I made this batch). Also, I like to go a little heavy on the freshly grated nutmeg, which just shines in this recipe.
I get tons of compliments on these whenever someone tries them, and they are ridiculously easy. I want to try a variation on these though, after trying a colleague’s lavender shortbread, which was delicately perfumed and flavoured with the scent of lavender, and be-speckled with the flowers throughout. Definitely something to experiment with!
Prize Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from A Guide to Good Cooking by Five Roses Flour
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 egg yolk
- red and/or green maraschino cherries or dragées for decorating
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cream softened butter, sugar, salt, nutmeg and egg yolk.
- Add flour, a little at a time, until mixture is too stiff to work with a spoon. Turn out onto a floured surface and gently knead, adding a little flour at a time, until dough just begins to crack at the edges.
- Dough may be rolled out and cut into shapes or rolled into 1 tsp balls and gently flattened with your thumb. Decorate by gently pressing small slices of maraschino cherries (red and green if you prefer) or dragées into the dough prior to baking.
- Bake 10 minutes or until delicately golden at edges.
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies.