Dec 14, 2012

White Chocolate Cherry Almond Shortbread Cookies

I'm so excited to be sharing another recipe with MarigoldRoad readers.  I love to bake, so I never turn down a request to bake and blog about a recipe!  I blog over at A Modern Hippie about healthy eating & living, crafts, recipes, and more!  Thanks Mindy for letting me share a recipe. 
Do you try new recipes often?  I love to try new recipes, but sometimes it can be frustrating because new recipes always seem to take me longer.  The good thing is that after I've made it once, the recipe comes together quickly the next time.  Have you noticed new recipes take you longer then normal? 
I decided to try one of the Christmas cookie recipes I pinned on my "Recipes" Pinterest  board a few weeks ago.  I am always hesitant to try recipes on Pinterest, as I have had a few that turned out horrible.  Good news, this cookie recipe is really good with a few changes I made to the original recipe!  You wont regret making these for your holiday parties.   Full, printable recipe is at bottom of post.  So lets get on with how to make White Chocolate Cherry Almond Shortbread Cookies!  

First, gather the ingredients for recipe. 
Drain cherry juice from cherries. 
Pull stems off cherries, unless you are lucky enough to find them with stems removed.  Chop the cherries up with a knife or Pampered Chef Food Chopper (one of my favorite tools in the kitchen!)

Cut COLD butter into small pieces   
Put flour, sugar, and butter pieces in bowl.  I used my Kitchen Aid Mixer, but you could use a food processor or just a large bowl and pastry blender.  

Mix flour, sugar, and butter until it resembles fine crumbs.  
Chop up chocolate.  
Add chocolate, chopped up cherries, 2 TBSP cherry juice, and almond extract.  
Mix until combined.  Add a little cherry juice to mixture until it forms a ball. 
Using cookie scoop, make dough balls. Place dough balls 2 inches apart of un-greased cookie sheet.  Dip a glass in sugar and press down each dough ball.  Since the cookies do not spread much when baking, this is an important step! 

Bake in 325 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until centers are set.  Let cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet, remove and place on cooling rack.  
Once all cookies are cooled, melt chocolate in double broiler.  
Once chocolate is melted, dip half of the cookie in chocolate.
Place on wax paper. Sprinkle with sugar if desired. 
Let chocolate set before placing in storage container. 
Time to enjoy eating these festive cookies with friends and family! 

White Chocolate Cherry Almond Shortbread Cookies
Below recipe adapted from BHG.  I have made changes to recipe, so click link for original recipe.  

1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and finely chopped (reserve 4Tablespoons of liquid from cherries)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cold butter
4 ounces white chocolate (chips or bar)
8 ounces almond bark 2 teaspoons almond extract 
White nonpareils, sprinkles, and/or red edible glitter (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Drain cherries, reserving 4 TBSP cherry liquid.  Remove stems (if you purchased the kind with stems).  Place cherries on paper towel and pat dry so they are not extremely juicy.  Chop cherries.  Set aside. 

2. Chop 4 ounces (2/3 cup) white chocolate.  Set aside.  

3. In kitchen aid mixer or food processor (or large bowl and pastry blender), combine flour, sugar, and butter cut into small pieces.  Mix until it resembles fine crumbs.  

4. Stir in drained and chopped cherries and 4 ounces (2/3 cup) of chopped white chocolate. Stir in the 2 Tablespoons of the reserved cherry liquid,  and almond extract.  Add a little more cherry liquid while combining until it forms a smooth ball.  Probably will not use all 4 TBSP of reserved liquid

5. Using cookie scoop, make 3/4-inch balls. Make sure to form the balls after using cookie scoop, as the dough does not spread much when baked.  Place balls 2 inches apart on an un-greased cookie sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in sugar, flatten balls to 1-1/2-inch rounds.

6. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until centers are set. Do not over bake! Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.

7. In a double broiler, melt 8 ounces of Almond Bark. Dip half of each cookie into chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. Sprinkle with sugar if desired.  Place cookies on waxed paper until chocolate is set. 

Storage: 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.

Click here to print recipe.  

Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I will be posting more holiday cookie recipes and gluten free recipes & tips for holidays at A Modern Hippie. Make sure to stop by for recipes!