Dried Cranberry Shortbread Hearts

February 9, 2012 · 15 comments · Print This Post

in Baked Goods, Cookies, Holidays / Entertaining

Well look what we have here. The obligatory heart-shaped baked good post for Valentine’s Day! Half of you are already clicking to the next blog entry in google reader and the other half are still with me. Thank you second half! There’s nothing wrong with loving pretty things, cookies, or cutting them into girlie girl shapes. As you’re probably aware I’ve made lots of heart-shaped things in the past and quite enjoy doing so whether it’s a goofy holiday or not.

This lovely little recipe was particularly pleasing though as I didn’t have to cover my one square foot of usable kitchen counter space with flour, fight off Dexter the cat’s constant curiosity, and then try to roll out dough. In fact, you don’t even have to turn on a mixer to make these addictive little sweets. Conjure up a medium sized bowl, a wooden spoon, and a square baking dish and you’re good to go.

My one suggestion would be that you definitely prep your baking dish, preferably with parchment paper. But if you’ve run out and keep forgetting to buy more, like me, aluminum foil liberally plied with cooking spray does the trick in a pinch.

Of course, this bake and then cut method does leave behind an interesting array of oddly shaped scraps. The’re quite ugly but you can give the pretty well-formed hearts away and keep the discards at home. Waste not, want not! Plus, I assure you that they’ll taste just as scrumptious in a small neat pile next to your afternoon cup of tea. If anyone gives you a weird look just say they’re something funky you found on Pinterest. No one will even bat an eye.

Dried Cranberry Shortbread Hearts
Originally published by Martha Stewart in the cookbook Martha Stewart’s Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped dried cranberries, cherries, or mini-chocolate chips

Heat oven to 325 degrees.with a rack in center. Combine butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, flour, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Beat with a wooden spoon until combined but not too creamy. Stir in dried cranberries.

Pat dough evenly into an 8- or 9-inch-square baking pan. Bake until just beginning to turn golden, about 20 minutes. Place pan on cooling rack until cool enough to touch, about 20 minutes. Run knife around edges, remove shortbread, and transfer, right side up, to work surface. Use 1 1/2- to 2-inch heart cookie cutter to cut out cookies. Use a paring knife to trim stray bits of cranberry from edges. Cookies will keep for 5 days at room temperature in an airtight container.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 LizA February 9, 2012 at 8:14 am

“If anyone gives you a weird look just say they’re something funky you found on Pinterest. No one will even bat an eye.”

That is so this decade’s defining statement! Beautiful shortbread, hearts or otherwise.


2 Erin February 9, 2012 at 10:12 am

Not sure if Pinterest will last throughout the next decade but at least for the next year I’m sure that’s what we’ll all be talking about. Sometimes that site sucks me in and I think everything is AMAZING and other times I think we’ve all collectively lost our minds and crack up at the over-the-top baked goods, projects, and crafts 😉


3 Emily February 9, 2012 at 9:11 am

I love these cookies! I made them last Christmas and they are so simple and delicious. They’re also good with different dried fruits and flavored extracts. I made a blueberry-lemon version that was great.


4 Erin February 9, 2012 at 10:10 am

Blueberry-lemon be stil my (ha ha) heart 🙂 That sounds heavenly! I really want to make them with mini chocolate chips too. Such a versatile recipe. Sometimes Martha Stewart deserves real props — or her assistants do.


5 Hänni February 9, 2012 at 11:30 am

I love Pinterest!

And what an interesting technique–cutting the cookies *after* baking. Wish I had some heart-shaped cutters to try it out.


6 Erin February 10, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Time to send Andrew-hot-pants out on a Crate and Barrel errand 🙂


7 MeLissa February 10, 2012 at 6:42 am

I had to share with you the giggle I had this morning. Imagine my surprise when I open up my email and sitting right next to each other are *two* emails about Dried Cranberry Shortbread Hearts – one from you and one from Martha (her cookie newsletter). Perhaps that is only funny to me, but nevertheless, I found it quite amusing. I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day. 🙂


8 Erin February 10, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Ha! That is funny. Glad to see Miss Martha is pulling from her archives this season too. I bet she didn’t have the super cute retro napkins though 😉


9 Julia Barrett February 10, 2012 at 1:37 pm

I am totally making these. I love anything with the word shortbread in it!!!


10 Erin February 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm

They’re super easy. I definitely think you’ll like them. PS: Do my brightly colored napkins look familiar to you 😉 I of course still use and love them! Do you remember who designed that fabric?


11 Wummy February 13, 2012 at 4:26 pm

They look delish!! CK is a lucky boy!!!


12 EB February 14, 2012 at 3:51 pm

First off… cutest tea towel ever! Second, these look amazing. Perfect for tea. I’d love to throw a little orange zest in there. Yum!


13 Shelby @ Lady Gouda February 15, 2012 at 4:13 pm

These are adorable. I just found myself wishing I had a heart-shaped cookie cutter the other day, and now even more so. I think we should eat heart-shaped items all year long! Can’t wait to try these out.


14 anickH April 3, 2012 at 12:34 pm

ive been wanting to make these. do u think theyd taste better w/ white chips added to the dough or would u leave them as is??


15 Erin April 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm

I think white chocolate would be a great addition. If you can, I’d try to cut up a white chocolate bar into small pieces rather than use chips but that’s only because I’m not a big fan of the way white chocolate chips taste. Happy baking!


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