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Shortbread Hershey Kiss Cookies Recipe

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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.

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.


  • 2 sticks (1 cup or 8 oz) plus 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened             
  • 1 cup powdered sugar  
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 scant cup (not quite a full cup) cornstarch              
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (I used sea salt)           
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 36 Hershey Kisses, unwrapped


  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.
  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.
  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.


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

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Josh Gill

Monday 10th of August 2020

I'm currently making this. Hope it turns out.

Smart Savvy Living

Monday 17th of August 2020

Hope you enjoyed them, Josh! Thanks for stopping by.


Thursday 13th of December 2018

Hi, is the cornstarch necessary? Could I substitute with arrowroot powder or tapioca flour?

Smart Savvy Living

Thursday 13th of December 2018

Hey, Vicky, thanks for stopping by. I haven't baked this recipe without the cornstarch so I can't say for sure how it would turn out with the options you mentioned. The safest option, in my opinion, would be to use the same amount of AP flour in its place. If you use other starches you may need to play around with the amount used. The cornstarch just gives the cookies a bit more delicate texture. Good luck and please let me know how it turns out!


Wednesday 14th of February 2018

Great recipe! We used to make a similar one, our mother called them "Ghost's Arsehole Cookies"

Smart Savvy Living

Monday 26th of February 2018

I'm so glad you liked it, Strepsi. Love your mother's name for them, hahaha.


Monday 1st of January 2018

I really love how this recipe came out, although when making the recipe the dough was very crumbly and dry. i had to then go and melt more butter to make the dough not dry and stick. Overall it was a very good recipe, I was surprised to see cornstarch used, but in the long run even the dough tasted really good.

Smart Savvy Living

Thursday 11th of January 2018

Hey Savannah,

Thanks so much for trying my recipe and letting me know how it turned out. I'm glad you enjoyed it! Cornstarch does seem like a strange ingredient at first but it does help the cookies be more tender and delicate.


Sunday 31st of December 2017

In your recipe it says, what to do "if" you make them the same day after refrigerating the dough for20 minutes. What if I leave the dough in the refrigerator overnight? Do I do something different? Can't wait to try. Just finished making the dough but don't want to bake until tomorrow and don't want to mess anything up.

Thank you!

Smart Savvy Living

Sunday 31st of December 2017

Happy New Year, Lynn! You can proceed the same as if you left it in the fridge for 20 minutes. You just may need to let the dough warm up a bit more if it's too firm to handle. Hope you enjoy!