Shortbread cookies for Valentine’s day

I think that I could not have had better start this blog than with this lovely recipe for shortbread cookies for Valentine’s day.

Shortbread cookies are famous Scottish cookies which originate in the 12th century. However, it is well known that the recipe for these cookies is perfected at the court of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots in the 16th century and for the first printed recipe from 1736. we can say thank you to Mrs. McClintock. They are traditionally made with only three basic ingredients: white sugar, butter, and flour in a ratio of 1:2:3. Also, for achieving better texture, shortbread cookies are sometimes made with rice flour or cornstarch, but those ingredients are not obligatory. The history of shortbread cookies is definitely not boring, and who wants to learn more about it, interesting facts can be found here.

Interesting stuff about shortbread cookies

  • Shortbread cookies are traditionally made in three different shapes. The first one is called petticoat tails which looks like a big decorated circle that’s being cut into triangles. One of the theories is that this name derives from undergarments that women wore at that time, which I find quite cute (regardless of whether this is true or not). Another shape is shortbread rounds – single, small and round cookies and third shape are shortbread fingers. While researching this topic, on the Internet I came across beautiful molds that are used for making shortbread cookies. It would be so nice to have one of these.
  • On traditional Scottish weddings, it’s a custom that groom breaks shortbread cookie above the bride and if the cookie breaks into more parts, that means that couple will have happy and fruitful marriage;
  • It’s not a rule, but also it’s not rare that Scottish producers pack these cookies in packaging decorated with famous Scottish tartan, also one of the symbols of Scotland.

After the short history lesson, it’s time to start baking. 🙂 The recipe that follows represents my variation of shortbread cookies. With these cookies, you can really do wonders when it comes to enriching them with spices, aromas etc. From the basic shortbread dough you can even make easy tart crust but I haven’t tried it yet.  Although I certainly will give it a try soon.

When I was thinking about the look of these cookies, I was imagining them romantic, dark pink, dipped in chocolate and decorated with dried rose petals. As for the taste, I wanted them to smell of love and vanilla, crispy, not too sweet and yes, they should melt in your mouth. Mission accomplished!


In order to get the desired color, I used the beetroot powder that worked very well! As well as being used as a natural dye, it is an excellent antioxidant, improves endurance during exercise and helps the body in fighting fatigue. I just discovered it in the kitchen and I think I’ll start using it very often.

Beetroot powder
Beetroot powder


Print Recipe
Valentine's day shortbread cookies
Romantic shortbread cookies dyed with natural beetroot powder and decorated with chocolate and dried rose petals.
Shortbread keksi u obliku srca
cookies (depending on the size of the cookie cutter)
cookies (depending on the size of the cookie cutter)
Shortbread keksi u obliku srca
  1. I've made these shortbread cookies in two shapes. From one part of the dough, I cut heart shaped cookies, dipped them in 100 grams of melted chocolate and then decorated with dried rose petals. Be careful not to overdo with petals like those in this recipe serve primarily as (edible) decoration.
  2. From another part of the dough, I made square shapes with bigger cookie cutter. Here I also used letter cookie stamps. They are not perfect, it's obvious I need to practice a bit more, but nevertheless, I have decided to show them to see how cute they may look.
    Shortbread cookies for Valentine's day
Recipe Notes

If you want, you can add 1/4 teaspoon of salt in this recipe to "boost" the flavor of shortbread cookies. If you decide to do so, I recommend that you add the salt when creaming the butter and vanilla extract. For me, they have a nice flavor even without salt.

Also, you can reduce or increase the amount of ground anise or add some other spices, it's really up to you.

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