Cherry shortbread hearts

Cherry shortbread hearts

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(26 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 15 mins


Makes 14-16, depending on cutter
James Martin's easy biscuits taste as good as they look and make an ideal Valentine's Day gift

Nutrition and extra info

  • Biscuits can be frozen before adding jam

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal242
  • fat15g
  • saturates8g
  • carbs27g
  • sugars14g
  • fibre1g
  • protein2g
  • salt0.21g
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  • 100g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 50g cornflour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 250g pack cold butter, cut into cubes



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 50g glacé cherries, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp almond extract


    arr-mund or al-mund

    Sweet almonds have a subtle fragrance that lends itself well to baking and also works well with…

  • 8 tbsp cherry jam, sieved


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Sift the icing sugar, flour and cornflour together into a bowl. Stir in the ground almonds and butter, then rub in the butter until smooth. Stir in the chopped glacé cherries and almond extract, and bring together to form a dough.

  2. Roll out on a lightly floured surface, then stamp out biscuits using a heartshaped cutter. Keep re-rolling the trimmings until all the dough is used. Carefully transfer the biscuits to baking trays lined with parchment and bake for just 8-10 mins until just pale golden.

  3. Using an upturned bottle top or similar, press gently into the centre of each biscuit to make a round indent. Spoon in a little jam and return to the oven for 2 mins. Remove and cool on a wire rack, before dusting with icing sugar to serve.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (32)

maizy's picture

I did everything I could to keep this mixture as cold as possible (put the dough in the fridge before rolling it out, put the baking trays in the fridge before putting the cookies on them, then put them back in the fridge to cool before putting them in the oven) but they still spread and the shape is pretty much unidentifiable, which is a shame. I won't be making them again.

stellafrances1's picture


lolodyer's picture

Very Easy to make and also look fantastic! A real crowd pleaser. Look complicated but they arent. Would reccomend this recipie.

MFJB's picture

I thought at first that the recipe looked a bit long winded for shortbread. But they were yummy. I didn't use any jam, I just made the biscuits. They were really nice.

clarington's picture

Made these biscuits as per the recipe about 8 mm thick / height and substituted the cherry jam for half a cherry pushed in slightly when fresh from the oven.
The biscuit tin emptied very quickly and were an absolute hit with everyone (I'm making some more tonight but cutting the cherries less finely as few people said they could taste cherry properly).

patsy1999's picture

Made these biscuits found them very sweet but very moorish. They didn't spread in the oven and didn't need to add milk, the dough came together with a bit of perseverance. Very nice without jam centre but dipped in chocolate :)

xxtizzyxx's picture

My husband loves these biscuits, and as previous people have said it does help to chill the dough before rolling out. I also wondered if the almond could be left out, as my son has recently been diagnosed with a nut allergy... If anyone has tried this I'd be grateful to know.

dulciedotcom's picture

Total disaster.

lizleicester's picture

Very pretty-looking despite not having glace cherries. Just left them out and they still look and taste delicious.

lizleicester's picture

Very pretty-looking despite not having glace cherries. Just left them out and they still look and taste delicious.

sandraworger's picture

Made these today, had no glace cherries but used chopped apricots and apricot jam really enjoyed them. As stated by others didn't chill them but put them on a cold tray and they didn't spread.

1sthorn's picture

Loved these cute biscuits! I'm a beginner and happened to buy a heart cutter at the weekend so couldn't wait to find a recipe! I didn't chill my dough like so many have done. Mine did appear underdone so I baked them for longer- almost double the time. They do stiffen up when allowed to cool so I left them to cool on the greaseproof paper before transferring them onto a rack. Worked for me! Will probably make more of these.

ladylikestocook's picture

I read the comments on here before making so I kinda cheated and used a very similar recipe I already had for biscuits that I knew wouldn't spread in the oven and then added the cherries and jam as James does. They were delicious - made them for Valentines day with my daughter for my husband to eat (well we shared them a bit!).

skakule's picture

The trick with butter based dough is to keep the dough as cold as possible, work with it as quickly as possible and to put the cut out biscuits on a completely cold baking tray (the colder the better) and then straight into the hot oven. They will not spread or get misshapen (or just a little).

kerry1984's picture

Very easy to make and dont take much time to do. Thoroughly enjoyed them for Valentines Day and will certainly make them again

crothers's picture

Made these yesterday, did 2 batches, one as the recipe above and the other with chocolate chips instead of cherries.
As so many people were saying the shape changed when cooked I cooked one batch stright away and the other I kept in the fridge after cutting out for an hour. Both turned out exactly the same, my shapes were still intact. (don't know how this happened-just luck?)
They both tasted fabulous, both batches already gone and orders placed already for another batch!

supaluc's picture

Well what can i say...what a disaster! I've never seen such a mess....i tried to hold back on the butter and add more flour but ended up with one big spoldge. At least they taste fantastic though, i'm not quite sure what anyone receiving them as a gift might think lol!

supaluc's picture

Well what can i say...what a disaster! I've never seen such a mess....i tried to hold back on the butter and add more flour but ended up with one big spoldge. At least they taste fantastic though, i'm not quite sure what anyone receiving them as a gift might think lol!

03flemie's picture

Made these for my mum, in my rubbish little oven in my tiny uni flat, they came out brilliantly! Its difficult to get the dough the right consistency, completely dependant on the temperature of the butter, I find it easiest to make it too warm, so the mixture is slightly sticky, and to then just pop it in the fridge for ten minutes, and it becomes really easy to work (just make sure that you have a very well floured surface to work on! DELICIOUS!!!

jul34es's picture

i made yesterday for valentines day, the dough was a bit soft so i added a bit more flour and they were great and tasted yummy and i ended up making 23.


Questions (1)

xxtizzyxx's picture

I haven't made these biscuits since my son was diagnosed with a nut allergy, so if anyone knows if the almond could be left out or substituted for this recipe I would really appreciate it - Thanks

Tips (1)

flyingwoolf's picture

Three tips:
1. Chill the dough in the fridge before cutting out and baking the biscuits - they keep their shape much better when they bake.
2. If you don't want to put the jam in the middle then bake them for 12 minutes to make them nice and golden.
3. Serve them with ice cream sandwiched between and a few fresh cherries or strawberries on top for a fantastic quick dessert.

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