I’ve been doing a lot of baking this week. It’s the only time of year we use obscene amounts of butter and sugar. Not that I don’t love spending time in the kitchen…it’s just that I’m usually cooking or baking something healthy (or remotely healthy)!
These cookies are a favorite because of their spin on the traditional shortbread…which of course involves oodles of butter and sugar.
Maraschino cherries add a festive touch…
They are a little time consuming to make…but oh, so worth the effort!
My favorite part is the dip in white chocolate. My kids just love the sprinkles involved in the process!
And what’s a handmade gift without cute packaging!? Thank you, Martha Stewart.
White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies:
- 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
- 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.
6. To Store: Layer cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.