Friday, November 27, 2015

Chocolate Cherry Shortbread

In the rush of Thanksgiving, I almost forgot to get started with Christmas cookies! I guess I shouldn’t talk, as my parents hosted a wonderful Thanksgiving and we just brought the dessert. I was glad to be off for a couple of days, and just wasn’t organized. I had a bunch of Christmas cookies planned to bake, but discovered it was kind of the last minute. These cookies ended up being perfect. I could make the dough, get a couple of other things done, and then bake them up.

Since I knew that we’d have so much food for Thanksgiving, I decided to make a half batch of these cookies. I put these together with what I had on hand. I had not-quite-enough maraschino cherries, but had both white and regular chocolate chips, so I adapted this a bit to fit what I had. You do have to drain and dry the cherries quite well, or you will have too much liquid in the dough. 

Shortbread is always interesting dough to work with. It seems like it is hopelessly dry and crumbly, and that it will never come together, but it did. They are a bit hard to slice, as the chocolate chips are big. Next time, I would probably use mini chips, just to make the slicing easier. When baking, these don’t brown a lot, so you have to be careful or the cookies will over bake and be dry. These may not look super fancy, but they have the lovely buttery shortbread flavor studded with sweet cherries.

Chocolate Cherry Shortbread
1 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup maraschino cherries, thoroughly drained and chopped
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

In a large mixer bowl, cream the butter and powdered sugar. Add the flour and salt and stir until the mixture becomes crumbly and starts to come together. Add the maraschino cherries, chocolate chips, and vanilla. Stir on low until the dough comes together.

Divide the dough into two halves. Shape each half into a 10” log. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with silicone baking mats. 

Cut the dough logs into ¼” slices and place on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the cookies are barely browned along the edges. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Recipe from Closet Cooking

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