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Rum-Raisin Shortbread Cookies

These cookies are studded with dried currants, which are tiny raisins made from Zante grapes. The currants must be soaked overnight, so you'll need to plan your craving a day in advance.

  • Yield: Makes about 4 1/2 dozen
Rum-Raisin Shortbread Cookies

Source: Martha Stewart's Cookies


  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 1 cup dried currants
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt


  1. Combine rum and currants; cover, and let stand at room temperature overnight. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons rum.

  2. Beat butter, sugar, and orange zest with a mixer on medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla and reserved rum, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour, coconut, and salt, and beat for 3 minutes. Stir in currants by hand.

  3. Form dough into 2 logs, each about 1 1/2 inches in diameter; wrap in parchment, and refrigerate 1 hour (or up to 3 days).

  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove parchment. Slice logs into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, and space about 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment. Bake until pale golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool.

Cook's Note

Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Reviews (19)

  • Happy baker 12 May, 2013

    Remember it's important to chill dough. I also sliced and chilled again on cookie sheet before baking!

  • Happy baker 11 May, 2013

    I also purchased the unsweetened coconut at my health food store. I soaked the Zante currants in Myer's rum. Followed the recipe exactly and everyone enjoyed them. I am making them again for my friends as a Mother's Day treat!

  • anyamyers 6 Dec, 2012

    Can't believe I didn't read the reviews first. This recipe lead to a big mess. One greasy buttery slop on my cookie sheet. I love corn starch shortbread and will stick to that as the recipe never fails.

  • hbombsmom 24 Jan, 2011

    I followed the recipe exactly and they all spread together on my cookie sheet. They were also greasy. :( the flavor was good but I had to salvage them with a pizza cutter. All I can figure is that they needed alot more flour......too bad.

  • cynat 27 Dec, 2010

    I really liked these but used extra 1/4 c. flour, only added 1 TBS reserved rum, used dried, unsweetened coconut which is completely different from moist, sweetened coconut and lastly only baked them for 12 min. Before reducing the time to 12 min I baked a few for 15 min and they burned and became real greasy. The rest at 12 min were not greasy. You have to get to know your oven. I'm still learning.

  • emmasyaya 14 Apr, 2010

    the recipe has some problems - like not enough flour - but i think it has potential. i'll keep working on it.

  • Onalark 31 Mar, 2010

    These were awful. Greasy, salty, and overcooked. Why are they still being featured on the web site? The lack of good reviews is proof enough.

  • emmasyaya 24 Mar, 2010

    i've not made the recipe, but i would think that substituting salted butter for the unsalted, and eliminating the additional salt might solve the problem mentioned by the two previous posters.

  • myrthfui 21 Dec, 2009

    I would agree that the coarse salt is NOT a good idea with these cookies. Figure out the conversion between coarse salt and regular salt and then cut it back a little. Also, 20 mins is WAY too long in the oven. I don't know who created this recipe but its seriously lacking.

  • HammysMummy 15 Dec, 2009

    I wasn't thrilled with these cookies. I found them to be more trouble than they were worth. With the coarse salt, I found that when I took a bit of cookie, I got an unwelcome bite of salt! Ew.

  • hayesstephens 8 Aug, 2009

    20 minutes were too long for me. whip these out as soon as they color or you'll lose the rum flavor!

  • lindastratford 23 Apr, 2009

    This sounds delicious, especially the part where the currents are soaked in rum. This means I won't have to share with kids. LOL

  • glorybees7 23 Apr, 2009

    Xelaju- Currants are a small, red, slilghtly sour berry. Raisins are very sweet compared to them.

  • patriciasart 23 Apr, 2009

    Mmmmm,these look yummy !

  • xelaju 22 Apr, 2009

    What is the difference between raisins and currants? Sorry...

  • pickypeople 17 Dec, 2008

    UNSWEETENED Coconut - I forgot there is such a thing. I traditionally purchaes Baker's Sweetened Coconut. After thiking about it I think Baker's made it years ago in a tiny can or something. So I found it at the Natural Health Food Store - yippee! Is delayed me making these a bit for my annual Christmas Cookie Exchange that Ihost every year. Thanks for the other tips posted. Jen

  • piginpocket 30 May, 2008

    I made it ,very cool

  • Tabby 20 Jan, 2008

    I made these cookies and had no problems slicing them. I soaked the currants for about 8 hours then prepared the cookies dough. I refrigerated the cookie dough overnight and baked the cookies the next morning. I removed the cookie dough from the refigerator one roll at a time and sliced the entire roll and baked the cookies before removing the second roll of cookie dough. The cookies turned out beautiful and were very tasty. I will bake these again.

  • rainydays 18 Jan, 2008

    I made these the other day and I had trouble slicing them. They crumbled and I had to shape them by hand. When I make them again I will have to rethink how to do them. They do tast wonderful and despite the difficulty I will make them again.

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