Wow! The holidays have kicked into full gear! The tree is up, the house is decorated and all I have left is baking and crafting. Today was the first day of my cookiefest 2010!
First, I am not a huge Maraschino cherry fan. As a matter of fact, they kind of scare me. They have an interesting toxic glow that is just a little too creepy for me. So, with that being said, the following cookies kick major butt! White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread have become an instant favorite in the Pedersen household. Even though they have those toxic cherries in them-I could eat a my weight in these yummy little morsals.
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
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spread cherries on paper towels to drain well.
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.
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.
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.
I can not believe how easy these cookies are to back and how absolutely tasty they are! Make this wonderful shortbread and you will instantly be on Santa's nice list!