White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread
This white chocolate cherry shortbread is very addicting and is the perfect holiday dessert.
- 1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and finely chopped
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small squares
- 12 ounces white baking chocolate, finely chopped (I use Ghirardelli.)
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 drops cherry juice
- small dish with granulated sugar for dipping
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- White nonpareils, red sparkling sugar, or red edible glitter (optional)
Preparation time 45mins
Cooking time 60mins
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Add the flour and sugar to the bowl of the food processor and pulse for a couple seconds until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembled fine crumbs, about 10 pulses.
Pour the flour mixture into the medium mixing bowl. Stir in the chopped cherries and 4 ounces (2/3 cup) of the chopped chocolate. Stir in the almond extract and the cherry juice. Mix with your hands until it forms a smooth ball, about 5 minutes. You may have to press on the dough to make it form a ball. Wrap the dough up in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Scoop out dough, about 2 teaspoons for each cookie, and shape it into balls. Hold each dough ball in your hand for about 15 to 20 seconds to let your body heat help hold the dough together. Place balls 2 inches apart on the ungreased cookie sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in water and sugar, flatten each ball to about 1/4-inch high. If the edges crack, press the cracks back together with your fingers.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until centers are set. Cool for 3 to 4 minutes on the cookie sheet to let the bottoms finish setting, and then transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.
In a small saucepan, add the remaining 8 ounces of chopped white chocolate and the butter. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. Or microwave the chocolate and butter for 1 minute at 70% and stir, and then microwave in 10 to 15 second increments, stirring in between, until the chocolate is smooth with only a few chunks remaining. Stir in the remaining chunks.
Dip half of each cookie into chocolate, allowing the excess to drip off. Sprinkle nonpareils or the decorative sugar on the wet chocolate. Place cookies on waxed paper until chocolate is set.
STORE: Layer cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container and cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
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