|White chocolate cherry shortbread|
I found this recipe on Pinterest, and the description said “Seriously, the best Christmas cookie EVER.” So, of course I had to try them. Not only did they claim to be delicious, with the specks of bright red cherries and the contrast of the white chocolate, they were so festive and pretty. So, I bookmarked the recipe on Better Homes and Gardens, and when I went to make my Christmas goodies for my husband’s co-workers, I gave them a try.
My first hint that these cookies were going to be amazing was the way my hubby was circling them before they were even finished. When they were done, and he actually got to have one, he proclaimed it “One of the best cookies I have ever eaten.” High praise coming from somebody who lives with me and eats homemade cookies all the time, year round.
In other news, Christmas is pretty much the only time of year that I really come to appreciate my Cuisinart food processor. Most of the time it just sits in a closet not getting much use because if I just need to chop up a few veggies for soup, or grate some cheese, I’d rather do it by hand than clean the food processor. I use it more for baking. You don’t need a food processor for this recipe (as you see, it calls for a pastry blender) but I just threw the flour, butter, sugar (pulsed it a few times) and then added the chocolate and extract and food coloring into the food processor and the kneaded in the cherries (which I did chop by hand) with my hands.
I also left the sprinkles off. I did a few with sprinkles and decided I liked the look of them better without. (Personal preference)
This very festive shortbread cookie is the perfect Christmas treat for your co-workers, your neighbors, your family, or your next Christmas party. They would also make a fabulous cookie for Valentine’s Day! I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and finely chopped
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cold butter
12 ounces white chocolate baking squares with cocoa butter, finely chopped (I just used a package of Ghiradelli white chocolate chips)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 drops red food coloring (optional)
2 teaspoons shortening
White nonpareils and/or red edible glitter (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spread cherries on paper towels to drain well.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in drained cherries and 4 ounces (2/3 cup) of the chopped chocolate. Stir in almond extract and, if desired, food coloring. Knead mixture until it forms a smooth ball.
3. Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in sugar, flatten balls to 1-1/2-inch rounds.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until centers are set. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.
5. In a small saucepan, combine remaining 8 ounces white chocolate and the shortening. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. Dip half of each cookie into chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. If desired, roll dipped edge in nonpareils and/or edible glitter. Place cookies on waxed paper until chocolate is set. Makes about 60*
*I must have made my cookies big, because this only made about 40 cookies for me.