Easy cherry and thyme short Shortbread Cookie Bars

Easy cherry and thyme short Shortbread Cookie  Bars

Buttery and slightly sweet shortbread bars are always a hit. They can be crushed to be used as a base for a delicious pie dessert. Perfect with a cup of hot tea or coffee, and is even a favorite during holidays. What is great about shortbread bars is their versatility, You can spice it up, make it savory, Add some herbs from your flower pot as I do, top with your favorite nuts or keep it classic. The best part, you can top it off with any seasonal fruits you have on your hand.

A classic shortbread consists of sugar, butter, and flour. The ratio is 1:2:3 which means 1 part sugar, 2 parts butter, and 3 parts flour. That’s it. Truly very easy to make as easy as 123 in the sense that you can make just one cookie for yourself. Shortbread doesn’t contain leavening or eggs. It is the butter that binds them together.

One of the most popular store-bought shortbread cookies that I like the best is “Walkers”, they are known for pure butter shortbread, the reason that they’re a little crumbly. Some shortbread makers add shortening that makes it crispier and darker color which also tastes delicious.

Using this classic shortbread ratio is the foundation of the most delicious easy cookies. You can add any flavorings of your choice. My preference, I love vanilla, lemon, thyme, and or rosemary; It is like bringing your simple and basic cookie to the next level or if you’re a sucker of chocolates, this salted chocolate chip cookie has the classic shortbread taste and texture with added chocolates that provides the purest form of joy.

Cherries, orange and fresh thyme in shortbread cookies?

When it comes to fruit, we all have intuitively had some flavor combinations that work together. Some cherries may taste tart but they actually smell sweet and heady. Combine with another layer of fragrance from orange zest, absolutely yes! It is quite impressive how all the conflicting flavors can come together. Cherry and orange to top off a nice sweet, earthy, and already delicious shortbread bar with thyme – they’re divine!

Fresh red cherries on a dark grey cement working surface.

Benefits of cherries1

Cherries have two major categories, tart ad sweet cherries from yellow to deep blackish-red.

  • Source of vitamin C, potassium, fiber and other nutrients.
  • All cherries are high in antioxidants(polyphenol) and anti-inflamatory (may benefit those with arthritis and gout).
  • May improve athletic performance especially tart cherries.
  • Contains melatonin substance which may improve sleep quality on some people.

Orange fruit, zest and microplane on a small white plate

Orange zest

Before you enjoy the pulpy and juicy inner part on an orange, save the orange zest or peel as it has many uses. Orange zest is the bright and colorful outer skin and once zested, it delivers an incredible flavor that adds subtle, and mouthwatering fragrance to your dishes. Just make sure you use unwaxed oranges.

Fresh lemon thyme in a flower pot.

Lemon thyme

Thyme has a minty, earthy, and floral herb. Lemon thyme has a similar appearance and taste to the common variety but it also offers a stronger citrus aroma and taste.

Do you know, lemon thyme’s flavor is as its peak same as all other herbs, in the morning when the essential oils of the plant are most abundant? Therefore, harvesting lemon thyme is best during the early morning hours of the day to get real maximum flavor2.

Plain shortbread cookies will keep for up to four weeks in an airtight container but these cherry shortbread bars with lemon thyme are best the day it is made and the day after. After that, the shortbread will absorb the juices from the cherry causing it to go soft. But I guarantee you, once you’ve made it, it will be gone the next day. Try it when you have company coming over.

Stack of three cherry and lemon thyme shortbread bars.

“The pleasure lies not in the cookies, but in the pattern the crumbs make when the cookie crumble,”

Michael Korda
Sliced cherry shortbread bars

Easy cherry and thyme shortbread bars.

Slightly sweet, citrusy, buttery, and fruity shortbread bars that are so easy to make.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Yield : 12 slices
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
inactive/cooling time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs


  • Mixing bowl, fork, and 8- inch square baking pan


  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • cup Semolina (or 1 cup cornstarch)
  • ¾ cup Granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon thyme leaves (or regular thyme)
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 cups Cherry pitted, sliced into half.
  • 3 tablespoon Sugar
  • 2 tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoon Orange zest


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line the sides and bottom of the baking pan
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, semolina or cornstarch, sugar, salt and thyme. Whisk to combine thoroughly. Drizzle melted butter and mix using a fork until just incorporated(don't over mix)
    Shortbread dough in a glass mixing bowl on top of a cement working space.
  • Transfer the dough into the lined baking pan reserving 3/4 cup of the dough. slightly press the dough using a flat bottom small measuring cup or any small round flat bottom
    patted shortbread dough mixture in a grey baking pan lined with parchment paper.
  • Combine cherries, sugar, cornstarch and orange zest in a small bowl.
    Pitted cherries with orange zest and sugar in a white bowl
  • Immediately spread all the cherries covering the shortbread dough.
    Making shortbread bars topped with orange-cherry coated with corn starch in a baking pan lined with parchment paper
  • Sprinkle the remaining shorbread dough and gently press to adhere. Into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the cherries are oozing.
    Raw cherry shortbread bars top with cherries and covered the remaining short bread dough
  • let it cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes then transfer the shortbread to a wooden board. Continue to cool completely before slicing evenly using a sharp knife.
    Baked shortbread bars on a wooden board adorn with 3 cherries on top and on the left side.


  • Best on the day it’s made but can be kept for another day.
  • Lemon thyme has a softer flavor without the bitterness that sometimes gives to food but regular can still be used in this shortbread bar.
  • Adding cornstarch to the cherries will help absorb the juices that is why it is necessary.


Calories : 325kcal (16%) | Carbohydrates : 43g (14%) | Protein : 4g (8%) | Fat : 16g (25%) | Polyunsaturated Fat : 1g | Monounsaturated Fat : 4g | Trans Fat : 1g | Cholesterol : 41mg (14%) | Sodium : 184mg (8%) | Potassium : 99mg (3%) | Fiber : 2g (8%) | Sugar : 18g (20%) | Vitamin A : 515IU (10%) | Vitamin C : 3mg (4%) | Calcium : 15mg (2%) | Iron : 2mg (11%)
CATEGORY: DessertSnack
CUISINE: American
KEYWORDS: cookieseasyshortbread
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Tag @cookmejoyathome on instagram so we can admire your masterpiece!!

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