Introduction: Simple Raspberry Almond Shortbread Cookies
If you are tired of making the same traditional chocolate chip orsugar cookie recipes, or if you're just looking to bake up a new and delicious treat, I highly recommend trying these delicious shortbread cookies. This Intructable demonstrates how to bake and decorate homemade raspberry and almond shortbread cookies. The recipe is easy to follow, and you likely have most, if not all, the ingredients already in your kitchen cupboard. Including preparation, baking, and cleanup, this recipe will take roughly one hour and 45 minutes and makes 50 to 60 cookies. Don’t let the baking time scare you away, only about 40 minutes of that time requires your hands-on attention. No matter how much baking experience you have, with this guide you will be able to prepare these amazing cookies to perfection. So, if you are looking to impress your coworkers and friends, or maybe just craving something extra sweet, dive right into step one of this Instructable.
Step 1: Gather Ingredients and Utensils
To prepare and bake these raspberry and almond shortbread cookies, gather the following ingredients and utensils. I have listed some substitutes that might save you a trip to the store.
- 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
- Note: It is crucial that you use softened and not melted butter. Placing the butter on the counter before you begin for 30 to 60 minutes is the preferred method, but if you’re in a hurry, cut the butter into small ½ inch cubes and wait roughly 20 minutes.
- Caution: Do not microwave the butter, this will not allow proper mixing and jeopardize the recipes results.
- 2/3 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
- Note: Vanilla extract can be substituted for a slightly different flavor.
- 2 cups of flour
- 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
- Note: Any jam or jelly you have on hand can be used as a substitute.
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 4 tsp of water
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
- Note: Again, vanilla extract could be substituted.
- Note: If you do not intend on glazing the cookies, or if you do not have powdered sugar, you can omit the powdered sugar, water and additional almond extract. You may also substitute melted chocolate or melted Nutella in place of the glaze.
- Note: This can be left out or substituted for any nuts you have on hand.
- Danger: Nut Allergies! Many people, and maybe even you, suffer from very serious nut allergies that can sometimes be fatal. Make sure to consider this when baking for coworkers, friends, and family.
- 1 extra large mixing bowl
- 1 small mixing bowl
- Measuring cups (1/2 cup, 1/3 cup, and 1 cup)
- Measuring spoons (1 tsp and 1/2 tsp)
- Rubber spatula
- Butter knife
- Light colored cookie sheet
- Household oven
- Electric hand mixer
- Note: If needed, a metal fork can be used instead.
- Rolling pin
- Snack size plastic bag
Step 2: Combine the Butter, Sugar, and Almond Extract
Now that you have gathered all the ingredients and utensils the real fun begins! The first part of preparing these cookies requires the butter, sugar, and almond extract to be combined.
- Place the two sticks of softened butter in the extra large mixing bowl.
- Add 2/3 cups of granulated sugar.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract.
- Mix the ingredients with the electric hand mixer on low until a uniform mixture is achieved.
- Warning: Make sure to keep your hands and fingers clear of the mixer to avoid pinching and cutting yourself.
- Tip: Move the mixer in circles along the outside edge of the bowl working downwards.
- Unplug the mixer.
Warning: Failing to unplug the mixer could cause an accidental activation of the switch. This could cause you to spill the ingredients or worse, cut and injure your finger and hands.
- Now, remove the excess mixture from the mixer head using your fingers.
- Push the the mixture together in the middle of the bowl using the rubber spatula.
Step 3: Form the Dough
The butter, sugar and almond mixture has successfully been combined. Now it is time to transform this wet mixture into a workable dough.
- Add 2 cups of flour to the small mixing bowl.
- Caution: Do not add all the flour at once. This will make it very difficult to mix in evenly and thoroughly.
- Pour in roughly 1/4 of the 2 cups of flour.
- Mix with the electric mixer until a uniform mixture is achieved.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 until all of the flour has been mixed.
- Combine the dough in the middle of the bowl with your hands.
- Cover the bowl with the towel.
- Place the dough in the fridge for 1 hour.
Once 40 minutes have passed, turn on the oven and preheat at 350 °F.
Step 4: Shape, Fill, and Bake the Cookies
The dough should be done cooling and the oven should be fully preheated. It is now time to begin forming and filling the cookies. They will soon be in the oven and your home will be filled with a wonderful almond aroma.
- Shape the chilled dough into 1 inch balls using the palms of your hands.
- Caution: Do not roll the dough in your hands for too long, this will warm up the dough causing it to stick.
- Tip: The distance between your second and third knuckle is roughly an inch. This can be used to approximate the first few balls as you get a feel for the size.
- Place the dough balls on an ungreased cookie sheet about 2 to 3 inches apart.
- Press the center of the dough balls with your thumb.
- Bring the edges together forming a circular indentation using your finger tips.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon of jam to each cookies center.
- Sprinkle a small pinch of sugar across the top of each cookie.
- Place the cookies in the oven at 350° F for 10 minutes.
- Tip: The cookies should flatten out and remain a pale white color when they are finished cooking. If you prefer a crisper bottom, bake on a dark cookie sheet or leave in the oven an additional 3 minutes.
Step 5: Preparing the Toppings
As the cookies bake you will begin smelling that wonderful almond aroma. To minimize your preparation time you can use the time the cookies are baking to prepare the glaze and the toppings.
- Add 1 cup powdered sugar to the small mixing bowl.
- Add 1 teaspoon of almond extract.
- Add 4 teaspoons of water.
- Mix using the electric hand mixer on low.
- Tip: As the icing sets it will thicken, add a few drops of water and stir with the hand mixer as needed.
- Place 1/4 cup of salted roasted almonds in a plastic bag.
- Place the bag on a towel on the top of the counter.
- Crush the almonds with the rolling pin into very fine sprinkle sized pieces. (Roughly 1/8 to 1/16 of inch big)
- Set the crushed almonds aside for later use.
Step 6: Topping and Serving Cookies
These delicious treats are almost done. Finally, it is time to remove the cookies from the oven and begin applying the final touches.
- Remove the cookies from the oven.
- Warning: The cookie sheet and oven will be hot and can cause burns. Use an oven mitt or thick towel to remove the cookies.
- Place them on the counter on a towel to cool for about 10 minutes.
- Warning: The jam will be very hot and it will retain its heat. To avoid burning your mouth, do not eat these as you would a warm chocolate chip cookie fresh out of the oven.
- Transfer the icing to a plastic bag while the cookies cool.
- Tip: Spoon a small amount into the bottom of the bag first. This will help you prop it open and prevent spilling.
- Snip a very small end off a bottom corner of the bag. (Roughly 1/16 of an inch)
- Pipe the glaze lightly over the cookies by squeezing it out the corner.
- Note: You may also apply glace with a fork or spoon and drizzle it over cookies.
- Tip: Be sure not to apply too much icing, as it might make the cookies too sweet. Less is more!
- Sprinkle the crushed almonds over the tops of the cookies.
- Garnish and plate with fresh red raspberries or place a raspberry in the center of each cookie.
You have now finished making homemade raspberry almond shortbread cookies. Go ahead! Snap some photos of these beautiful cookies and share with your friends and family. These simple yet professional looking cookies are certain to impress both in appearance and in taste. Anyone that you share these is sure to ask for more. Enjoy!