Vermont Journal

from the B&B and around Vermont

Shortbread: 100 Beautiful ‘Jewels’ In Each Cookie

Stirring it up:

These Shortbread Biscuits (cookies) look like a collection of jewels. They are great to have in the freezer ready to bake at a moment’s notice. While the candied fruit and cherries are not actually jewels and there may not be 100 “jewels” in each cookie they certainly dress up a cookie plate.

Makes: about 3 dozen
Oven: 350°F  (175°C)
Bake: 12-14 minutes*

Shortbread Ingredients:

Plate of decorative cookies
Christmas shortbread packed and waiting for the holidays.
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped candied citron
  • 3/4 cup glacéed cherries


Jewel Shortbread Cookies ready to plate.
Christmas Shortbread and sweet treats.
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer until fluffy.
  • Beat in egg and vanilla.
  • Reduce speed to low.
  • Add flour mixture, and beat until combined.
  • Once the flour is incorporated according to dough add in citron and cherries.
  • Divide dough into 2 halves. Shape each half into a 10-inch-long square-shaped log.
  • Wrap in parchment. Refrigerate until very firm, about 2 hours.
  • You can even freeze the dough like this for up to a month.
  • Slice dough crosswise slightly thicker than 1/8 inch.
  • Bake at 350 degrees on parchment-lined baking sheets until firm, 12 to 14 minutes.

*If baking from frozen, add a few minutes to the baking time but watch they don’t burn!

Dishing it out:

No Burns Supper menu is complete unless it includes shortbread biscuits. Needless to say,  years ago I learned to make shortbread biscuits as, being married to a Scot, we hosted many a Burns Supper. Probably the most enjoyable was hosting a Burns Supper in France where many of our guests had never tasted Haggis before – it’s another menu must! Perhaps we will have shortbread for breakfast dessert on Robert Burns’ birthday – January 25th. Come for a treat!

Unadorned shortbread can be found any time of year in most Scottish kitchen cupboards. Holiday seasons bring the desire to jazzed up this stand-by biscuit by adding bits of candied ginger, dipping one end in chocolate, or even making them chocolate! Wanting to do something a little different I decided to make these with candied fruit.  I make these especially during the Christmas holidays and throughout the winter as well as they dress-up a cookie plate very nicely.

I wonder if I could make tartan shortbread for Burns Supper…humm maybe I’ll give it a try!

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