Red Beet Shortbread Cookies-Heart Cut-Plated-Red RSideI am going to say it now. Sorry, if you are not a fan of Valentine’s Day. I urge you not to click out of this post if you do like cute heart things or the color pink. I can at least offer you that.

Holidays are a wonderful excuse to celebrate, decorate, and be generally festive. I welcome the chance to string seasonal garlands, use fun shaped cookie cutters, and make a big deal with the children about an approaching celebration.
This Valentine’s day I was looking for a way to avoid red food dye. That journey led me to discovering what foods are naturally red and in season. Beets have made their way into my recent kitchen experiments. My littlest did not like beets as a baby food purée, so all the more reason to find other fun uses.
Beet Prep
 The first time I prepared beets, I tossed out the water in which they were boiled. The moment I saw that beautiful red water swirling down the drain, I knew it was a mistake. I now save the water and reduce it to half in a simmer. The reduced beet water gets bottled up and refrigerated for future “food coloring.”
To get the fun heart shaped pattern cookies, make one batch beet shortbread cookies and another batch of traditional shortbreads. Roll each batch of dough out into a rectangle before chilling in the refrigerator. Chill the cookies at least 1 hour.  Use a small heart cookie cutter to cut a heart into each cookie and swap out with the opposite colored dough. Proceed to baking as usual and serve you adorable heart cookies with your choice of beverage. I love these with a cup of hot tea.

Red Beet Shortbread Cookies-Heart Cut-Horizontal Red Beet Shortbread Cookies-PrebakedJPG








Red Beet Shortbread Cookies-Heart Cut-Plated-White-Side

Valentine Beet Shortbreads



















Red Beet Shortbread Cookies

Skip the red food dye. These cookies incorporate the natural coloring from beets. A healthier festively colored cookie. 

10 minPrep Time

13 minCook Time

23 minTotal Time

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  • 1 stick butter*
  • 4 Tbs granulated sugar; reserve 1 Tb
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs beet puree**
  • 1 1/8 cup all purpose flour


  1. In a medium bowl, cream the butter with the first 3 Tbs of granulated sugar. Blend in the vanilla extract, and beet puree. Mix in all the flour just until dough forms. Use hands to form dough into a log shape. Cover or wrap the dough and chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  2. While dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 325F. 
  3. Once dough has chilled you can either cut cookie rounds directly from the cookie log or roll the dough out with a rolling pin and cut with a cookie cutter. 
  4. Place cookies 1-2 inches apart on an un greased baking sheet. Sprinkle the remaining 1 Tbs of granulated sugar over the cut cookies before placing in the oven. Bake cookies for 10-15 minutes just until they set. Allow to brown lightly on the edges.


*Dairy free & soy free: replace the butter with a soy free vegan option. My favorite is Earth Balance soy free vegan buttery sticks. **Beet puree: Wash and peel the beet. Diced into cubes. Place in saucepan and just cover the beet with water. Bring the water with beets to boil. Turn down to a soft, gentle boil. Boil for 10 - 15 minutes until the beet is tender. Drain the water, reserving the cooking water. Run the beets under cold water for 3 minutes to stop the cooking. Place the cubes of beets in a food processor or blender and puree.



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