When I first saw a picture of these cookies I knew I had to make them. They were so pretty in the picture, with the pale pink cookie dipped into white chocolate, then just the edge dipped into the colorful red sugar. I thought they would make a great addition to a tray of Christmas cookies.
The other ingredient these cookie have going for them is the addition of Maraschino Cherries. These sweet, almond-tasting cherries are made from a bitter cherry. The name Maraschino is from the Italian word marasca– the name of the cherry. and amaro which means bitter. Somehow they become sweet as they soak in their liquid, and I just love them, but don’t find many ways to use them in cooking or baking. So I was really happy to have come across this recipe. After I made them, I found them to be everything I had anticipated and more. Just imagine for a moment biting into a buttery shortbread cookie that also includes the flavor of these cherries and almond. Really good, yes? Now add the smooth sweetness of white chocolate. Oh, WOW! If you are drooling at this point, you need to go make them NOW!
Do you know what else? There’s no need to get out your mixer. It all gets mixed by hand, and there’s no chilling involved ( well, you can if you want to). Pretty easy and quick to make. And believe me, just as easy and quick to eat.
The recipe: WHITE CHOCOLATE CHERRY SHORTBREAD COOKIES
YIELD: about 60 cookies. The recipe divides in half easily, which I did, and got 30 cookies
- 1/2 cup Maraschino cherries, cut up and drained well
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup ( 2 sticks ) cold butter
- 12 oz. white chocolate chips or squares, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 drops red food coloring ( I used a little cherry juice instead for a paler color)
- 2 teaspoons shortening
- decorative sugar or sprinkles
1. Combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender. Stir in cherries and 4 ounces ( 2/3 cup ) chopped white chocolate. Stir in almond extract and food color ( or cherry juice).
2. Stir as well as you can and then knead to form a smooth ball.
3. Break off small pieces of dough and form into 3/4 inch balls. Place on prepared cookie sheets. (Greased or lined with parchment paper.)
4. Using a glass dipped into sugar, flatten into 1 1/2 inch rounds.
5. Bake at 325 degrees, for 10 – 12 minutes. Cookies will firm up as they cool. Transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.
6. In a saucepan over hot – not boiling-water, melt the remaining white chocolate with the shortening. Dip half of each cookie, then roll the dipped edge into decorative sugar or sprinkles. Stand upright between the tines of a cooling rack to dry.
Note: I never find white chocolate easy to melt or dip into, so what I do is this. When the chocolate becomes soft enough to stir, I use a small spatula to spread it on the cookie, making sure to cover the edge so the sugar will adhere. This works for me. However, my cookies don’t get that perfectly half-dipped look.
SOURCE: Martha Stewart Cookies, I-Pad newsletter
Here’s an advance look at tomorrow’s cookie recipe. Y’all come back then.