Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies

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This recipe has been featured in a post on The Recipe Girl blog: Christmas Cookie Exchange- Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies

Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies

Prep Time: 40 min

Cook Time: 20 min


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, (cold) cut up into chunks
1 tablespoon red food coloring
3 ounces white chocolate (with cocoa butter), coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons shortening
festive sprinkles


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Cover and process with on/off turns until combined. Add butter and red food coloring. Process with on/off turns until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Then continue to process until mixture begins to clump together.

2. Scoop dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until nearly smooth. Roll or pat dough to a 1/2-inch thickness. Using a floured 1-1/2-inch round cutter, cut out dough. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Press scraps together and reroll.

3. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until centers are set. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.

4. In a heavy small saucepan, melt white chocolate and shortening over low heat, stirring constantly. Dip half of each cookie into melted chocolate. If desired, sprinkle with festive sprinkles, nonpareils or chopped pistachios. Let stand on waxed paper until set.


Cooking Tips:
*I made the dough using a food processor, which was easiest because it takes a bit of processing to allow the crumbs to clump together and become the proper consistency for rolling. If you'd like to try the hand-mixing method: In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter and food coloring until mixture resembles fine crumbs and starts to cling together (it will take a while for the dough to come together). Form mixture into a ball, kneading until smooth.
*I used gel paste food coloring to color my cookies (instead of the liquid food coloring). It's more concentrated, and you can add more of it to get a deeper color without adding liquid to the mixture. Don't overdo it though, or you'll end up with red stained fingers as you eat your cookies!
*For storing: Place cookies in a single layer in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
*These cookies are a shortbread-type cookie and not a real sweet cookie. They don't have that bang of red velvet flavor that you might be hoping for. I'd say they are more of a pretty cookie... and the white chocolate drizzle helps make them sweeter and more festive.

Source: Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

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  • Elizabeth wrote:

    I made these cookies for Christmas this year and they were a huge hit. Obviously they aren’t as sweet as any old cookie, but they are shortbread and taste like shortbread (as they should).

    I’m going to be posting my results on my blog. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  • Trish N. wrote:

    This is not the cookie for you if you are not a piddly type person who has plenty of patience. I have the first batch in the oven. The recipe made way more than 24 which questions the use of a 1.5″ cookie cutter. Wonder if that’s a misprint? I had to add 3 more T. butter to get the mixture to clump together. Waiting to cool now and hopefully the white chocolate dip will make them really flavorful. I actually kind of like the taste of the cookie – no too sweet and very crisp like a good shortbread. Bake time for these tiny 1.5″ beauties is about 15 minutes in my gas over.

  • CJ wrote:
    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Yes, I submitted my recipe to be shared on that site.

  • Adriana wrote:

    LorAnn is a company that make emulsions . They have quite a few diffferent flavorings and I think they Red Velvet emulsion would work just perfect in this recipe.
    I find my emulsions at either Ross (yes Ross), Marshalls or HomeGoods. Or you can purchase them on the
    They run about $6 a bottle and are worth every penny.
    I hope this posting helps!
    I am going to make a batch of them soon and will post how they turned out.
    Happy Baking 🙂

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I agree- that added red velvet flavor would help tremendously! Thanks!

  • Deborah wrote:

    Why not just take the recipe for red velvet cake (or Waldorf Astoria red cake, as we always called it) and adjust the liquid and flour until you get a rolling consistency? I have that recipe right here. It uses cake flour (maybe substitute all- purpose) and buttermilk plus two eggs for the liquid. Maybe one egg instead of two…

  • Lisa wrote:

    I haven’t made them yet, but an idea for taste maybe a little bit of cinnamon

  • Nicole wrote:

    I just made these cookies exactly as the recipe states. Sad to say that they did not come out well. They stayed true to the shape that I cut them into, however, they tasted awful. Even after I added white chocolate to the entire top of the cookie, they still did not have any type of good flavor at all. I’m dissapointed to say the least, I was really looking forward to these.

  • Steph wrote:

    this actually is not formatted t print recipe and picture only. It printed 11 pages. Be sure to highlight and only print selection.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Sorry about that- this was an older recipe that had not yet been formatted into the new print function. It has been edited and all is formatted now!

  • Shelley wrote:

    Chocolate extract, for a added twist of flavor??

  • Angie wrote:

    Is it softened butter or cold butter?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      @Angie, Cold! That’ll help the crumbs form.

  • Lori Lange wrote:

    I’m wondering how we can jazz up the flavor of these cookies as they don’t taste all that wonderful without a good dunk of the white chocolate. Maybe adding mini-chocolate chips and then dunking in dark chocolate? Let me know if others have ideas for how to improve the flavor…

  • Kelli wrote:

    Ohhhh no – sorry made them & they taste like the bit of crusty brownie edges. Sorry, though they baked beautifully & the picture was pretty – wouldn’t recommend this recipe taste-wise. However it’s given me an idea to pursue.

  • Susan wrote:

    I just printed it off- I have to try these this weekend- Thanks

  • Rodney wrote:

    Where is the butterilk? If the ‘Red Velvet’ flavor didn’t come through then that might be the reason. A red velvet cake is always a buttermilk cake with a touch of cocoa. Can you sneak a couple tsp of or similar into it?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Rodney- That would be an interesting addition! Thanks for the tip.

    • Erin wrote:

      @Lori Lange,
      I agree, if there is a way to incorporate buttermilk into these they would be spot on! I liked them still as is. Also, I made them bigger in diameter using a star-shaped cookie cutter. Super cute!

  • Amanda wrote:

    Really gorgeous Lori! Superb!

  • Deanna Fuller wrote:

    I also am a lover a of Red Velvet! The cake has been my birthday cake since my very 1st birthday. I saw this recipe on Better Home’s website and tagged it to make this Christmas season. Then, I saw a couple reviews for it saying the cookie was awful. I’m SO glad you made them and said they’d be worth it! You’ve helped me make up my mind to make these for my cookie exchange as well. (I found your website by searching for Red Velvet Cheesecake recipes. I’m going to attempt making my first cheesecake for our Christmas dinner and hoping Red Velvet will be a hit!)