Monday, December 17, 2012

White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread

I'm a Pinterest addict. And that's not an exaggeration. At last count I had over 3,000 pins and I've only been on Pinterest maybe 6 months. And I've only actually used about a dozen of those pins for projects and recipes. I have a long way to go. I'd probably do more Pinterest-inspired projects if I actually owned a home AND learned how to sew. And developed a case of insomnia that allowed me several hours of nothing to do.

One of the latest things I Pinterested was a list of Christmas cookies from Better Homes and Gardens. I chose these cookies based on the picture alone. I think I thought they were white chocolate peppermint cookies, so I was a bit surprised to find they were cherry. I'm not a fan of marashino cherries. I don't understand why they have to come on every milkshake I order. But, I put judgement aside and judged a book by its cover...or in this case, a cookie by its picture. The picture was gorgeous, I just had to try it out. I just made a few tiny adjustments.

I don't even like maraschino cherries, but in this cookie they are amazing!

I drained my cherries first in a colander before laying them on the paper towels to drain again. Love the color!

Cutting the butter in. When a recipe asks for cold butter, they really means COLD. I chop up my butter into small cubes and then put it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes before cutting it in. You can also use your Kitchenaid mixer for this.

The batter. It's shortbread, so it's going to be dry. If it's too dry and you can't seem to knead it in a ball, add a little water or cherry juice, but only a little. You want the shortbread to be flaky.

I didn't dip my cookies. I really wanted the cherries to shine through and thought if the cookies were dipped the white chocolate might overshadow the cherries. A drizzle and a sprinkling of white sprinkles turned out beautifully. A great balance of cherry and white chocolate.

White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread
by Better Homes and Gardens

1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and finely chopped (about a 10 oz jar)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cold butter
12 ounce white chocolate baking squares with cocoa butter, finely chopped (I used white chocolate chips instead of baking squares. Saved me a ton of money and chopping time)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 drops red food coloring (optional) (I didn't use red food coloring. My son is allergic to it so we don't even have it in the home. You are welcome to use that or add juice from the cherry jar for extra cherry taste and to give the cookies a red tint)
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.

No comments:

Post a Comment