Brandied Cherry Whipped Shortbread - side angle

Boozy Cherry Whipped Shortbread

Brandied Cherry Whipped Shortbread - close up

Boozy Cherry Whipped Shortbreads are an evolution of my Mom’s favourite shortbread recipe. The original recipe comes from a dear but departed neighbour, Maddie Homes. This recipe can be as easy or as tricky as you like. 

When I made it, I took a small cookie scoop of dough and plopped down 66 cookies on baking sheets. I could have stopped there and my family would’ve been completely happy. But, I decided to use up some boozy brandied cherries from the back of the VERY overcrowded condiment section in my fridge. I made a boozy cherry icing to dollop on top of the cookies. That took them up a wee notch in difficulty but they were still easy. 

My Mom gets credit for raising four children and tackling tricky Christmas baking. She used a cookie press to make her version of these cookies. I remember her making vats of this dough. Then, she painstakingly press it though a variety of press shapes to create pretty little wreaths, bells and stars. She’d patiently sprinkle them with different colour sparkles (or maybe that was the job we were allowed to do!). Then she’d bake them off. That cookie press gadget seemed extremely difficult. But, maybe that’s a 10 year old’s memory!

I remember that smell of rich shortbread wafting through our home. We’d hover nearby. When the timer buzzed we were thrilled to get the okay to try one. With each bite that buttery goodness melted blissfully. No there’s all that and a cherry on top in this recipe for Boozy Cherry Whipped Shortbreads.

The morale of this story? No matter how plain or fancy you decide to make these, whipped shortbreads are a great Christmas cookie tradition. I’m glad they’ll be around to help us savour it all ™ this year. 


Boozy Cherry Whipped Shortbread

Brandied Cherry Whipped Shortbread - overhead view

Melt in your mouth buttery goodness with a cherry on top!

  • Author: Karen Anderson
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 5 to 6 dozen
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: Scottish-Canadian


For the cookies:

1 lb softened unsalted butter

1 cup icing sugar

½ cup corn starch

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For the icing:

½ cup butter, softened

2 ounces cream cheese

2 cups icing sugar,

2 teaspoon cherry juice

2 Tablespoons chopped boozy cherries


  1. Preheat the oven to 325℉.
  2. Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high until creamy smooth.
  3. Add the icing sugar, corn starch, flour and vanilla and beat until dough sticks together in a ball.
  4. Drop by the teaspoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
  5. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes. They should be raised and firm but still quite pale, not brown.
  6. Let cool on the rack before icing. Prepare the icing.
  7. Place the softened butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on high until creamy white and smooth.
  8. At the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Then add the cherry juice and cherries. Add a little more icing sugar if needed to get a stiff enough consistency for the icing.
  9. Ice the cookies and store between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container in the freezer until ready to serve.
  10. Enjoy with milk, tea, coffee or as part of a dainty platter for dessert. Tip: Santa likes it when he finds these on his plate on Christmas Eve!



Note: I used Brandied Cherries that were intended for cocktails. You could use a good brand of canned or preserved cherries. They don’t have to be boozy. But, do use real cherries in real cherry liquid. You want the colour and texture of the soft pink. Avoid the dye-injected maraschino cherries if at all possible. Or, if you can only find those, keep your icing white and plunk a little piece of one of those on top of each cookie.. 

Keywords: Boozy Cherry Whipped Shortbread

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