These shortbread cookies are perfect for Valentine’s Day! They’re super buttery but crisp and naturally colored with beet powder. I guess you could even call them heart beet cookies! But don’t worry, you can’t taste any beets in these cookies. Just sweet and buttery deliciousness.
How to make shortbread cookies
Cut out cookies always look like they require so much effort but they’re actually easier to make than drop cookies! Especially this recipe.
Shortbread cookies consist of 3 main ingredients; butter, sugar, and flour. You can also use powdered sugar for a more delicate cookie. Without the use of eggs, butter is what holds these cookies together.
Start by creaming together your sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Then, mix in your vanilla and then your dry ingredients. Sometimes it’s just flour but for this recipe, I’m using flour, salt, and beet powder.
Roll out your dough between two sheets of wax paper to 1/4 inch thickness. Place it in the fridge for 30 minutes then preheat your oven to 350F.
Chilling your dough is how you get those sharp edges. If your dough is too warm when baked, the cookies could spread and lose their shape.
After 30 minutes, stamp out your cookies with your cookie cutter and bake for 15 minutes. They might seem a little soft but they’ll harden as the cool.
Shortbread Cookie Toppings
What I love most about shortbread cookies is that they’re a blank slate. You can add whatever toppings you like as this mild flavored cookie will go with just about anything.
I like the look of powdered sugar against the gorgeous red color of these cookies. You could also drizzle or dip them with some white chocolate for a beautiful contrast.
Take it a step further and whip up a simple buttercream to sandwich between two cookies! You could dip half the cookie in some dark chocolate and sprinkles to take these cookies from simple to show stopping.
Baking with all-natural food coloring
I’ve never been one to go crazy with color in my baking. We eat with our eyes, so I never found a bright colored dessert to be very appetizing. But when I do use color, I always try to work with natural ingredients.
For these cookies, I used beet powder from Love Beets to get that gorgeous red/purple color. It’s a very fine powder so it blends seamlessly with the shortbread cookie dough.
You might be thinking…beets?? In my cookies?? But don’t worry, you can’t actually taste the beet flavor.
You also don’t have to mess with staining your fingers or mouth when making and eating these cookies. This all natural powder doesn’t have all those funky ingredients like most food dyes. Just beets!
How to cut out your shortbread cookies
To get those perfect shapes and edges, always make sure you’re cutting your dough when it’s cold! If it’s too warm, they’ll lose their shape.
I like to pre-roll my dough and then chill it. That way, the dough doesn’t crack if rolling it out when cold. It makes the process much easier.
I used these heart shaped cookie cutters to cut out my cookies. The dough can get stick in the cutter when you lift it off the paper so just gently push it out with your finger.
If you don’t have enough room on your cookie sheet for all of the cookies, place the extras in the fridge while the first batch bakes.
Looking for even more cookie recipes? Check out my cookie archives for all Butternut Bakery cookie recipes!
Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram if you make these naturally colored shortbread cookies. I love seeing my recipes come to life in YOUR kitchen! To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card, the buttons above or below this post, or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!
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