This Shortbread Hershey Kiss Cookies Recipe is perfect on the holiday cookie tray, for your sweeties on Valentine’s Day and every occasion in between.
Pardon the less than stellar picture as I made these last year pre-camera of awesome. I promise they’re still super tasty!
Usually I’m a bit more of a complex cookie maker – browned butter chocolate chip cookies, salted peanut butter cookies, molasses cookies – cookies that have major flavor going on. However, there’s something to be said about a simple buttery shortbread cookie that just melts in your mouth now and then. Plus they’re one of Mr. Savvy’s favorite cookie flavors. Consequently, he loved this Shortbread Hershey Kiss Cookies recipe saying they were delicious before he even swallowed the first bite.
Shortbread Hershey Kiss Cookies Recipe
Not being one to leave well enough alone, I love jazzing up shortbread with chocolate, or Hershey’s Kisses in this case. I find the unique flavor of Hershey’s Kisses to be a perfect compliment to the shortbread, plus everyone deserves a kiss on Valentine’s Day, and any other day, right? This way you can also give everyone a kiss under the mistletoe without getting in trouble with your significant other. You could also use the candy cane kisses, which would look great for both Valentine’s Day and Christmas, or the cherry cordial kisses, or any flavor really. And honestly, these cookies are just as tasty as plain ol’ shortbread.
For this shortbread Hershey Kiss Cookies recipe I opt to use powered sugar for a smoother final product as granulated sugar can sometimes leave a bit of graininess. The cornstarch also helps to add a bit more delicate flavor and texture to the shortbread so that it is truly melt in your mouth. You can replace the cornstarch with more flour, but I would advise against adding more cornstarch as you can add too much, which will lead to sort of grainy and pasty mouth-feel. You could also dress these up for the holiday a bit more by adding chocolate chips or chunks or chopped cherries to the cookie dough itself. When I originally came up with this recipe I used half the dough for the traditional rectangular shortbread and half to make these shortbread Hershey kiss cookies, so I estimate you should get 30-45 cookies dependent upon size.
- 2 sticks plus 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 scant cup (not a full cup) cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt (I used sea salt)
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract (could also use 2 teaspoons but I love vanilla)
- 30-45 Hershey Kisses, unwrapped
- Cream butter and sugar together with either a hand or stand mixer until thoroughly combined.
- Sift flour and cornstarch together and stir in salt.
- Add flour mixture and vanilla to sugar/butter and mix on medium to high speed until thoroughly combined. This will take a few minutes as you are making a mixture similar to pie crust and the butter needs time to be cut into the flour. If it seems to remain just too crumbly after several minutes, you can add a couple more tablespoons of butter.
- Form dough into a ball/disc, as you would pie crust, and wrap with plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or over night. Preheat oven to 325°F if making the same day.
- Take heaping teaspoonfuls of dough and roll into balls with hands lightly dusted with powdered sugar. If dough starts to melt in your hands, place back in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Place cookie balls onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat about 1 inch apart.
- At this point you can take a small clean glass and dip the bottom in powered sugar and flatten each cookie or use your thumb to create a crater that you press the kiss into later. Both seemed to work equally well for me, though I preferred the look of the thumb-pressed cookies more for this application. Note that these cookies will not rise or expand very much.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until edges have just a very slight golden tinge. Check at around 10-12 minutes if your oven runs really hot. These are not cookies you want to get brown.
- Remove sheets from oven and allow to cool for a minute. Then immediately place an unwrapped Hershey Kiss into the center of each cookie, pressing down lightly.
- Allow to cool completely and enjoy. Cookies can be stored at room temperature in air-tight container for up to 3 day. Unbaked dough can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days (wrap tightly so it doesn't dry out) or in the freezer for up to 1 month.