Annabel Karmel’s Shortbread sweethearts

Sweet biscuits that are perfect for presents and great for older children to help cook

  • 55g butter, softened
  • 30g caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 85g plain flour, plus extra for rolling

To sandwich the hearts…

  • 40g white chocolate, chopped
  • Icing sugar, for dusting
  • 1-2 tbsp seedless raspberry jam 


  • Step 1

    Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and a pinch of salt until combined. Add the flour and stir in with a wooden spoon, then bring the dough together with your hands. Wrap in cling film and chill for around 30 minutes.

  • Step 2

    Roll out on a floured surface to around 2mm thick. Cut out 16 hearts using a 6cm cutter.

  • Step 3

    Put 8 hearts on one baking sheet. Cut heart centres from the remaining 8 dough hearts, using a small heart-shaped cutter. Transfer the hearts with the centres cut out to a second sheet. Chill both sheets for 10 minutes in the freezer.

  • Step 4

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan). Bake the shortbread until slightly golden – this will take 10 to 12 minutes for the ones with the hearts cut out and 13 to 15 minutes for the solid ones. Cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Step 5

    Melt the white chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of warm water. Stir often and watch carefully. Remove the bowl from pan when you can still see a few un-melted lumps of chocolate and stir until smooth. Set aside for a few minutes to let the chocolate cool and thicken slightly. Meanwhile, dust the cookies with the cut out centres with icing sugar.

  • Step 6

    Spread a scant 1/2tbsp of chocolate over each solid cookie, leaving a border around the edge. Put a blob of jam in the centre of each. Sandwich the cookies with the sugar-dusted tops and add a little extra jam in the cut out centre, if needed.

  • Step 7

    Refrigerate for 10-20 minutes, until the white chocolate has set, then store in a cool place.

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Taken from Complete Party Planner, Ebury Press