One of my staff members L-O-V-E-S cupcakes…Red Velvet, in particular. And for the past two years, I have made her Red Velvet cuppies to celebrate her birthday. But this year had to be fabulous for “P” so I was on the hunt to take a different spin on the old favorite.
Inspired by the recent swarm of postings featuring Red Velvet Cake Pops, Red Velvet Cookies, and Red Velvet Ice Cream, I decided to try out Better Homes and Gardens’ “Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies”. I liked the idea of a small cookie that “P” could enjoy that wasn’t too sweet but paid homage to her beloved favorite cuppie.
The BHG recipe was pretty easy to make but I found that it wasn’t exactly accurate.
- They said to use a 1½ inch round cutter but I found that it was too small–especially compared to the photo of the cookie that they displayed . A 2½ inch round cutter was much more accurate for the quoted 2 dozen cookies
- 3 ounces of white chocolate is definitely not enough to dip the cookies in—double it!
The recipe I included below is directly from BHG. A few of my suggestions to enhance the recipe would be:
- Use an additional 3 tablespoons of butter.
- Up the granulated sugar to ½ cup.
- Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- I like my red velvets REALLY red and used an additional ½ tablespoon of red food coloring
Overall, these cookies were pretty fun and “P” enjoyed them. I think with the listed modifications, they would be awesome! I also liked how the white chocolate was reminiscent of the cream cheese frosting found on traditional red velvet cupcakes. Will it replace the beloved Red Velvet Cuppie? Maybe not. But it does offer a fun alternative–and who couldn’t use a new makeover every once in awhile? :)
Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies
From Better Homes and Garden
1¼ Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/3 Cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
¼ Teaspoon Salt
½ Cup Unsalted Butter, cut up
1 Tablespoon Red Food Coloring
3 Ounces White Chocolate, coarsely chopped
1½ Teaspoons Shortening
Finely Chopped Pistachios or Rainbow Nonpareils (optional)
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. Process until mixture just forms a ball.*
On a lightly floured surface, knead dough 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.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until centers are set. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.
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 pistachios or nonpareils. Let stand on waxed paper until set. Makes about 24 cookies.
UPDATE: If the dough is too soft to roll out, chill it in the fridge for a 5-10 minutes. Also, if you taste them directly after baking, they will be really crumbly and almost flavorless. These shortbread cookies need to be “aged” a bit and will improve in flavor/texture the next day after they’re baked.