It is time to begin thinking of holiday baking as the season is fast approaching. This time of year, I begin to sift thru my recipes, putting them in piles of “I want to make,” “maybe I will make,” and “not going to make.” When I came up on this colorful recipe, I knew it was a perfectly cheerful holiday cookie to bake.
White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread
1 small jar maraschino cherries, drained and finely chopped. Lay on paper towel to blot dry
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. cold butter
1 1/4 c. white chocolate chips
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. cherry extract
2 drops red food coloring (optional) or as many drops as you want to make them pink or red
3/4 c. sugar for rolling dough balls in
white chocolate for melting and dipping
red colored sugar crystals or sprinkles for decorating
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F. Spread cherries on paper towels to drain well.
In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar (1/2 cup). Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in drained (and blotted dry), chopped cherries and white chocolate chips. Stir in almond extract, cherry extract and food coloring (or you can use cherry juice). Knead mixture until a soft dough ball has formed, incorporating all crumbs in the bowl.
Shape dough in to 3/4 inch balls. Place the other 3/4 c. sugar in a small bowl. Roll the dough ball around in the sugar until full coated. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using the flat bottom of a drinking glass, flatten balls to 1/4 inch high rounds.
Bake in a preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until centers are set. Cool for 1 min. on a cookie sheet. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
In a microwaveable-safe bowl, place the white chocolate for melting. Microwave for 45 seconds, stir and if still not melted fully, place back in microwave at 30 sec. intervals until fully melted smooth.
Dip half of each cooled shortbread in white chocolate. Place on waxed paper, sprinkle with decorative accents and let cool to allow chocolate to harden.
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. ENJOY!
I think these red and white bakery confections will be sure to bring joy to your holidays and holiday parties :)
Sweet and delicious! Just like a maraschino cherry on top of an ice cream sundae! And a homemade cherry coke with maraschino cherry juice!
…with a cherry on top please!