Shortbread Cookie “Donuts” with Raspberry Icing (Co-nuts!)

My family loves shortbread. This particular recipe uses earthy, ground marcona almonds; bright citrus, warm winter spices and rich, deep vanilla flavors.


The glacé, burgundy colored icing is velvety and slightly tangy. It serves as a lovely complement to the toothsome, minimally sweet, shortbread.


For this recipe, you do not need cookie cutters. Instead, tin cans and a thimble or twist-off top to a jar of balsamic vinegar, olive oil or wine will do.


For this recipe, you do not need cookie cutters. Instead, tin cans and a thimble or twist-off top to a jar of balsamic vinegar, olive oil or wine will do.

DSC_2228The little circles are the perfect chef snack to keep you energized while icing the donut-shaped cookies. Full baking instructions are found in the recipe, below.


The treat is lovely with a spot of tea or a hot mug of coffee. My brother and I both drink a lot of coffee, so it runs out quite quickly in our house! Fortunately, my husband, “Abba,” only drinks tea. Less competition for the other two.

DSC_2232    Is it a cookie? Is it a donut? Truth be told, it is really a toss-up. Maybe a “co-nut?” However, I am sure that they are quite tasty and satisfying. I not will claim that these sweets are healthy. It is the holiday season, and I feel like a bit of festive indulgence.

DSC_2238Happy Christmas to my friends who observe the holiday, and a very merry holiday to one and all.

DSC_2236Warmest regards,





Shortbread “Donuts” with Raspberry Icing


1 cup marcona almonds, lightly roasted and cooled

1/4 cup granulated sugar


2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg or cardamom

1/2 tsp. salt

zest of an orange

1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter or lactose-free organic margarine, room temperature

1/2 cup granulated, white sugar

1 tsp. good quality pure vanilla extract

2 large egg yolks (save the whites for another use)


100 grams organic cream cheese, low-lactose if desired, or mascarpone cheese, room temperature

2 Tbsp. good quality raspberry jam, preferable homemade, or any jam that you desire

1 tsp. good quality vanilla

1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted, plus additional to sprinkle over cookies, if desired



  • Pulse the almonds and the 1/4 cup of sugar in a food processor until a fine dust is formed. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the flour, spices and salt.
  • Using a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix the orange zest, butter, sugar, vanilla and egg yolks on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  • Mixing on low-speed, slowly add the flour mixture from the large bowl into the mixer, just until fully incorporated. Avoid over-mixing. 
  • Make a large disk out of the dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until very firm, at least an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350•F or 177•C and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough. Use a round cookie cutter or a metal can with both ends cut off to cut-out shapes.
  • Use a thimble or the top of an extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar or twist-off wine top to cut small circles within the large circles.
  • Place on prepared sheet and bake for eight to ten minutes, just until cookies are no longer doughy. Avoid over-baking cookies if you desire a soft texture.
  • Allow cookies to cool completely.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the cream or mascarpone cheese, vanilla, raspberry jam and powdered sugar until smooth. Ice the cookies. 
  • Sprinkle with additional powdered sugar, if desired.
  • Enjoy!
©Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, (2013), unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.



51 thoughts on “Shortbread Cookie “Donuts” with Raspberry Icing (Co-nuts!)

    1. Beverlee –
      Yes, chef snacks are just ideal. 🙂 This is a lovely little cookie recipe that my family loved. You don’t have to make donuts, of course, but the chef snack is mandatory…
      Have a healthy, happy new year. I am so glad that you stopped by.
      Best regards –

  1. Oh my, these look delicious! All of the goodness of a donut without the oily mess… Thanks for sharing, Shanna. And warm wishes for a wonderful holiday season to you and yours.

  2. These look so delicious. I love raspberries and that icing….Your family is so lucky that you love to cook healthy, beautiful meals and treats. Mele Kalikimaka from Maui, Hawaii!

    1. Thank you, Kiyo. You are so kind and sweet in your comments – please stop making me blush! I do wish I could share these cookies with you. I agree, raspberries are so delicious – the perfect balance of sweet and tangy. “Mele Kalikimaka on a bright, Hawaiian (or New Mexican!) Christmas day.” I appreciate your visit. Warm regards, Shanna

  3. These sound fantastic, Shanna. I, too, love shortbread and the idea of a chef’s snack. Problem is, where do the snacks end and wholesale gluttony begin? I doubt I could stop after the “holes” are gone. I’ll just make a double batch and hope for the best. 🙂
    I hope you’re enjoying this holiday season, Shanna!

    1. Thank you for your kind comment, John! I know, I know – shortbread is addicting. I was a little gluttonous yesterday with the doughnut cookie holes! Of course, we also made other cookies, which I ate. ‘Tis the season! 🙂 Let me know if you try the recipe… it is a new favorite around here. I appreciate your visit and wish you a fabulous holiday! 🙂 Best wishes, Shanna

    1. Hehe, THANK you Vicente! We are fans of the Simpsons around here. The writers/creators went to my husband’s alma mater. 🙂 A lovely complement – Homer would definitely approve this recipe. Have a wonderful holiday and thank you for your visit. Best wishes, Shanna

  4. Hehe. I got fooled when I saw “donut” because I became confused as to why the donuts were flat. But they still look yummy. They are cakey donuts, which souds suspiciously similar to Sofia coining them “donut cookies” :p Happy Holidays!

  5. These do look yummy. I am a huge fan of shortbread too. I don’t usually put anything on it, but the raspberry in the frosting certainly pushes my buttons! Hope you enjoyed your holidays too and look forward to a wonderful new year.

    1. Hi, Dedy,
      You are right… shortbread cookies…in the shape of a donut: Baked but definitely a lot of butter in these. Haha. I had to put my thimbles and balsamic vinegar top to use somehow. 😉 Have a wonderful Christmas and a safe, healthy new year.

  6. how. cute. are. those. !!!! What a wonderful mix of flavors. Yum 🙂 Thanks for sharing. And my vote is accompanying them with coffee as they need a strong partner 😉

  7. These are so adorable. Love that pale pink, fruity icing… my nieces would love them! And maybe you can call them ‘conuts’, as there seems to be a trend towards fusion baked goods these days (just think ‘cronut’, those croissant-donut things are taking over the world!). Thanks for the sweet recipe Shanna x

    1. Hi, Laura. What a great idea. Yes, I am familiar with the cro-nut rage, though I have never tried one (I am missing out!). Thank you for stopping by and leaving kind words. Your niece would definitely have fun making the cookie cutters, shaping and decorating the cookies. Have a lovely day! Warm regards, Shanna

  8. Hello Shanna, I’m back! Sure these are delicious! I love shortbreads! I loved the idea to cover also the small circles, so cute! Sure you had a great time together. Cris

    1. I hope that Charlotte makes you a big plate of them. I love the orange zest and almonds in this recipe. 🙂 I appreciate your compliment and cheerful visit to Curls and Carrots, Lidia. Best wishes, Shanna

  9. Shanna, i love shortbread, I don’t know how I missed this recipe. I noticed you use a lot of almonds. Is that your go-to (even though I know there is all-purpose in here). xox*

    1. Thank you so much for your warm comment, Vera. Yes, I love the flavor and texture of almonds. 🙂 I often make almond meal for baking or use almond extract… maybe this dates back to marzipan memories in Madrid (can you say that three times fast?). All my best, Shanna

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