Slice and Bake Heart Shortbread – Recipe

These colourful heart cut-and-slice biscuits (also known as icebox biscuits) take a lot of time and patience to make, but in practice are actually quite easy. You just need to be patient and wait for the dough to chill at various points in the process.


Slicing through the dough when it's been chilled until solid is so satisfying. Especially when there's a cute surprise inside. You can make the heart inserts any colour you like, or even choose different shapes to cut out instead of a heart.

This is a modification of a super old recipe I posted back in 2014, where I made plain shortbread and rolled it in sparkly sugar. It's the same recipe, but with a little added food colouring and extra steps to make the shaped centre.

I managed to make roughly 40 biscuits out of this, so it makes a lot. A good idea for Christmas presents, maybe.

Need a visual? Check out my at-a-glance YouTube recipe video


Ready? Let's go.

Ingredients for Biscuits:

250g unsalted butter, softened
140g caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk (save the egg white for later)
400g plain flour
Gel or paste food colouring

Ingredients for Filling and Coating:

1 egg white, lightly beaten
200g chopped nuts (I used pistachios and pecans)

Method:

1. Stir the butter, sugar, salt, whole egg and egg yolk together until smooth, and stir in the flour until you have a smooth dough.

2. Divide the dough into half. Set aside and cover one half in a bowl with clinfilm, and divide the rest into however many colours you want (in my case, four portions for four different colours). Knead a little food colouring into each one until the colour is even.

3. Roll out one of the coloured dough portions and cut out small hearts with a cutter. The more thickly you roll out the dough, the fewer times you have to stamp the cutter into the dough until it's used up.

4. Repeat with all the coloured dough, and place the hearts on a tray lined with nonstick baking paper. Chill in the fridge for half an hour to an hour, or until hard.

5. Brush a little egg white onto the surface of the same-coloured hearts to stick them together, making long 'heart inserts'. Pop back in the fridge for another half hour (cover and refrigerate the egg white for later, too).

6. Divide the uncoloured dough unto however many inserts you have (in my case, four portions for four different-coloured inserts).  Use a little piece of a portion of uncoloured dough to fill out the groove at the top of one of the heart inserts, then roll our the rest of the portion into a rectangle the same width as the insert. Roll it up so it's completely covered, wrap in clingfilm, and pop back in the fridge for four hours to completely set, or overnight. Do this with the rest of the colours.

7.  Preheat the oven to 180°C, and line a few baking trays with nonstick baking paper.

8. Tip the chopped nuts on a large flat plate or another baking tray. Unwrap your logs, brush the surface with a little egg white, and roll in the nuts.

9. Slice into about 2cm thick discs, and bake for 10–15 minutes, or until the edges begin to go golden brown. 

10. Transfer onto a cooling rack, and cool completely before eating.

Enjoy, and have fun.

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