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Shortbread Hershey Kiss Cookies Recipe

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.

Usually I’m a bit more of a complex cookie maker – browned butter chocolate chip cookies, salted peanut butter cookies, crispy ginger molasses cookies recipe – 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.

Shortbread Hershey Kiss Cookies Recipe

For this shortbread Hershey Kiss Cookies recipe I opt to use powdered 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.

* December 2021 Update*: I originally created this recipe using a scant cup of cornstarch.

While the majority of people that tried this recipe reported back delicious success, there have been enough that had issues with crumbly dough or dry cookies that I have since updated this recipe to include just a half cup of cornstarch. If you liked the recipe as originally written, please continue to use a scant cup of cornstarch.

It is very important with this recipe to make sure you are properly measuring your flour and cornstarch or you can end up with a dry or crumbly cookie.

  1. Stir your container of cornstarch or flour to fluff it up as it can settle over time.
  2. Spoon the cornstarch or flour into the dry measuring cup until it’s heaping over the top. Do not pack it down.
  3. Use the spoon handle (if it’s flat – it won’t work correctly if curved) or a knife to scrape across the top of the measuring cup.

More Easy Dessert Recipes

If you enjoyed this Shortbread Hershey Kiss Cookies recipe, check out our Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe too!

Shortbread Hershey Kiss Cookies Recipe

Shortbread Hershey Kiss Cookies Recipe

Yield: 36 cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

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.

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks (1 cup or 8 oz) plus 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened             
  • 1 cup powdered sugar  
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch (please see notes)*             
  • ½ teaspoon salt (I used sea salt)           
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 36 Hershey Kisses, unwrapped

Instructions

  1. Cream butter and sugar together with either a hand or stand mixer until thoroughly combined.
  2. Sift flour and cornstarch together and stir in salt. Be sure that when you measure the flour and cornstarch you use the spoon and level method - stir the flour or cornstarch with a spoon and then spoon it into your measuring cup and a bit over. Do not pack it in. Then use a knife or the handle of the spoon to level off the top. Remove a couple of spoonfuls after measuring the cornstarch for a scant cup. If you don't measure this way, you may use too much flour and end up with dry and crumbly cookies.
  3. 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. Keep mixing the dough until it comes together as it should not be crumbly.
  4. Form dough into a ball/disc, as you would pie crust, and wrap with plastic wrap.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or overnight. Preheat oven to 325°F if making the same day.
  6. 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.
  7. Place cookie balls onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat about 1 inch apart.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.

Notes

* December 2021 Update: I originally created this recipe using a scant cup of cornstarch. While the majority of people that tried this recipe reported back delicious success, there have been enough that had issues with crumbly dough or dry cookies that I have since updated this recipe to include just a half cup of cornstarch. If you liked the recipe as originally written, please continue to use a scant cup of cornstarch. Please also see the original article for tips to correctly measure flour and cornstarch as it's very important for this recipe.

These are also great with Rolo's, mini peanut butter cups, and other candies.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 66Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 34mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 1g

Nutrition information may not be accurate. Nutrition information is calculated automatically by and provided by Nutritionix. Exact nutrition information depends on the specific ingredients, brands, and amounts you use.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Ursula

Thursday 23rd of December 2021

Even after adding the additional 2 tbs of butter the dough is still crumbly and not coming together. What can I do to resolve this?

Smart Savvy Living

Thursday 23rd of December 2021

Hi Ursula, I'm sorry your dough is still crumbly. I would add more butter or a bit of milk until it comes together.

Nicole Gonzales

Wednesday 22nd of December 2021

I just made these, I ended up adding the extra butter as my dough was crumbly. It was perfect after that, however once cooked, eating a cookie was like eating a spoonful of powder. None of us could even swallow them. Is this the way they are supposed to be?

Smart Savvy Living

Thursday 23rd of December 2021

Hi Nicole, I'm sorry your cookies ended up so powdery. They should definitely not taste like that. I have since updated the post to include these following tips:

* December 2021 Update*: I originally created this recipe using a scant cup of cornstarch.

While the majority of people that tried this recipe reported back delicious success, there have been enough that had issues with crumbly dough or dry cookies that I have since updated this recipe to include just a half cup of cornstarch. If you liked the recipe as originally written, please continue to use a scant cup of cornstarch.

It is very important with this recipe to make sure you are properly measuring your flour and cornstarch or you can end up with a dry or crumbly cookie.

Stir your container of cornstarch or flour to fluff it up as it can settle over time. Spoon the cornstarch or flour into the dry measuring cup until it’s heaping over the top. Do not pack it down. Use the spoon handle (if it’s flat – it won’t work correctly if curved) or a knife to scrape across the top of the measuring cup.

TeresaMcNally

Tuesday 21st of December 2021

Isn’t to try this recipe but the amount of cornstarch turns me off for some reason. I’ve seen many other cookie recipes with a Tablespoon or 2 of cornstarch but a cup? Willhis not turn out if the cornstarch is cut back to a 1/2 cup? Lovely looking cookie with positive reviews 👍🏼

Smart Savvy Living

Tuesday 21st of December 2021

Hi Teresa, thanks for stopping by. I do make this recipe with a scant cup of cornstarch but you can reduce the amount of cornstarch if you'd like. Do make sure that for whatever amount of cornstarch you leave out that you replace it with an equal amount of flour. Hope this helps!

Teri Kerr

Thursday 25th of November 2021

I made these today and was a bit concerned about how crumbly they were. Added a bit more butter and oh my gosh - they are SO GOOD! Melt in your mouth. So yummy. FYI I used a wrapped Kiss to make the indent for the chocolate.

Smart Savvy Living

Wednesday 1st of December 2021

So glad you enjoyed them, Teri! Great idea to use the Kiss. Thanks so much for trying my recipe and sharing how it turned out.

Rosa

Tuesday 29th of December 2020

Oh my gosh these are my family’s new favorite cookie! I made them for Christmas and I’m making them again for NYE. Absolutely LOVE them! So buttery and so so good! Thank you!!!

Smart Savvy Living

Wednesday 30th of December 2020

So glad you and your family liked them so much, Rosa! Thanks for coming back and sharing how they turned out.

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