Isn’t this the most wonderful time of the year?!? The snow has been falling for a few weeks here in Michigan already — okay, okay — I am honestly NOT excited about that. This year it seems as though time is just flying. It seems like just last week it was Thanksgiving and now here we are less than a week away from Christmas.
Christmas is literally my favorite time of the year. I love the family spirit, baking, gift giving, and most of all — the Christmas decorations. Oh, the Christmas decorations!!! Mark cringes when we walk into a store and they are selling Christmas items. As a women in her late 20’s I already own more Christmas decorations than most people’s Grandmothers do! I love decorating for Christmas. I cannot wait until one day Mark and I have a bigger house where I can setup two or three full sized Christmas trees.
This year my Christmas spirit has been lacking a little bit. Mark and I have had a rough fall/winter and this year I have just been struggling to get into the normal Christmas spirit that I usually have. I was able to get our Christmas tree up this year and a few of my other decorations, but other than that I’ve done nothing. I am always girl the who done buying Christmas gifts by Thanksgiving and this year I didn’t start until this past week. In fact, as shocking as it may sound — I haven’t even done any baking!!
So, today I finally forced myself to get in the kitchen and bake some of my favorite holiday cookies. I knew that these cookies would be perfect to post today!
These cookies taste like Christmas! What does Christmas taste like — well, like heaven really! For being a shortbread cookie these cookies are light and moist and the raspberry filling adds just the perfect sweet tang to the cookie. To top it off the almond flavored icing really brings the whole cookie together.
One thing I love about these cookies is how simple they are to make. It does not require getting out your stand mixer, lots of ingredients, or a lot of steps. If your lives are anything similar to mine — then during the holidays being able to make a delicious cookie to share with family and friends but that is easy to make where you are not slaving over the stove all day is amazing.
Mark and I polished off about a dozen of these within an hour of making them. I know, that means we will both need to run 3-5 miles on the treadmill tomorrow morning but trust me — they are so worth it! I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as we do!!
Raspberry Almond Shortbread Cookies
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For the Cookies:
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup seedless red raspberry jam
Sugar for sprinkling
For the Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
3-4 teaspoons milk
1 teaspoon almond extract
In a medium sized bowl with a hand mixer beat the softened butter on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add the sugar and almond extract; and mix well on medium speed until well combined. Make sure to scrap down the side of the bowl once while mixing. Add 1 cup of flour and mix for about 20-30 seconds on low speed. Add the remaining 1 cup of flour and mix again for 20-30 seconds on medium-low speed. The dough will be crumbly at this point.
Using your hands, gently work the dough together to form one large disk. Cover the dough and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or until the dough is easy to handle.
After the dough has chilled, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls about 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Using the palm of your hand gently press down the ball a little bit; and then using your thumb press an indentation into the center of each ball. Spoon about ½ teaspoon of the raspberry jam into the center of each cookie and then lightly sprinkle the cookies with sugar. Bake about 10-12 minutes or until the edges are a light golden brown. Cool the cookies on the cookie sheet for 1 minute before transferring to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
While the cookies are cooling in a small bowl add the powered sugar, almond extract and 1-2 teaspoons of the milk. Stir the powered sugar, slowly adding the milk 1 teaspoon at a time until it reaches a consistency that you can drizzle with. Drizzle the cookies with the icing and enjoy!
Makes 2 dozen cookies.