We're so excited to start posting some of our favorite Christmas treats. From cookies to candy, breads and cakes there are so many delicious holiday goodies. It's hard to choose. Christmas is such a special holiday for us. As far back as we can remember our Mom spent what seemed like weeks in the kitchen making all different kinds of treats that we would deliver to teachers, neighbors and friends. When we got old enough we started helping and this is where our love for cooking began. Luckily we still live close enough to carry on this tradition in our own families. We still get together every year and make our Christmas plates together. Some of our recipes go back to the days with our Mom and others, like the one we're posting today, are new favorites.
Julia made these cookies one year and brought them for Christmas. One bite and the whole family was hooked. They have that classic, buttery shortbread taste but the added flavors from the cherries and almond extract are just amazing. They are so festive looking with their red and white colors and the white chocolate and sprinkles add that special little touch. They look really pretty stacked in a clear cellophane bag tied with Christmas ribbons.White-Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies
Better Homes and Gardens
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 (we always use white chocolate chips)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 drops red food coloring (optional)
2 teaspoons shortening
White nonpareils and/or red edible glitter (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spread cherries on paper towels to drain well.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. In a small saucepan, combine remaining 8 ounces white chocolate and the shortening. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. Dip half of each cookie into chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. If desired, roll dipped edge in nonpareils and/or edible glitter. Place cookies on waxed paper until chocolate is set. Makes about 60.
6. To Store: 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
Posted by: Sallie & Julia