One of my newest favorite cookies is this delicious concoction from Better Homes & Gardens, White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread cookies. They were one of the many cookies on the “Always Faithful” cookie buffet at the Island Brunch (one of the great events during my friend Amanda’s wedding weekend in OBX). Being pregnant, I could NOT get enough of these cookies and got the recipe from her mom’s friend once we returned. They have now become one of my Christmas cookies, and today I got spend some time making them. I am also sharing this recipe for @mrsflyboy’s Cookie Hop because they are so great!
You start with finely chopping 1/2 cup of marascino cherries. I cut into one and immediately decided this was going to take FOREVER. Out came the food processor and they turned out the PERFECT consistency.
Next was mixing flour, sugar, and butter until it was fine then adding in the cherries, white chocolate, red food coloring, and almond extract. One of my Christmas wishes is a good set of mixing bowls, because I could not get this dough into a nice ball within my largest mixing bowl, so I threw it on the counter to get what I needed.
The next step said to use a sugar coated glass to squish balls of the dough…I used a sugar coated kid and she absolutely loved it.
Off they went into the oven for about 12 minutes and they came out perfect.
After some cooling time, I made the white chocolate/shortening dip and rolled them in a glitter and sprinkle mix. We then resisted their temptation as the 60 cookies stared us in the face. (Ok, it made 62, but Greg and I could NOT hold back so we ate them.) Success indeed!
And here is the recipe:
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.