December 1st around our house means it’s time to bust out the Christmas decorations and our Elf on The Shelf, Jack. If you don’t have an Elf, I highly recommend it. He generates loads of good behavior from your kids and has the power to make them do almost anything since he reports their behavior back to Santa. My husband even jimmy rigged some fishing line across our ceiling so Jack spontaneously flies across our ceiling every once in a while which gets the kids in a frenzy.
December 1st also means I start thinking what cookie to make for cookie exchanges or for neighbor treat plates. I always stress over making the perfect cookie. The recipe has to be festive, taste awesome, easy, unique, and make a lot of cookies. I spotted these cookies on Pinterest and they seemed to fit the bill. Cherry and almond mixed together – which is one of my favorite flavor combinations. I added more cherry liquid and almond extract to bump up the flavor because that’s how we do it around here.
It’s a shortbread cookie which means the dough is super dry. Don’t be worried. This is normal. It should look like this:
It will all come together when you knead it into a ball. Look at those beautiful chunks of white chocolate and cherries.
Then you make really small balls and flatten them with the bottom of a glass.
Dip them in melted white chocolate and sprinkles and you’re done!
White Chocolate Cherry Almond Shortbread Cookies
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Cherry and almond mixed together - which is one of my favorite flavor combinations. I added more cherry liquid and almond extract to bump up the flavor because that's how we do it around here. These shortbread cookies are amazing.
1/2cupmaraschino cherries, drained and finely chopped (reserve 2 Tablespoons of liquid from cherries)
2 1/2cupsall-purpose flour
12ounceswhite chocolate baking squares with cocoa butter, finely chopped
2drops red food coloring
White nonpareils, sprinkles, and/or red edible glitter (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spread cherries on paper towels to drain well reserving 2 Tablespoons of cherry liquid for later.
In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender (or 2 forks), cut in the butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. You could also use a food processor here or use your Kitchen Aid Mixer. Stir in drained and chopped cherries and 4 ounces (2/3 cup) of the chopped white chocolate. Stir in the 2 Tablespoons reserved cherry liquid, almond extract, and food coloring. Mixture will be very dry and look like crumbs. Don't worry. That's normal. Using your hands, knead mixture until it forms a smooth ball.
Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. The cookies do not spread much so make sure your balls are well formed. Having slightly damp hands helps here. 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.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until centers are set. Do not overbake! Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.
In a small saucepan, combine remaining 8 ounces white chocolate and the shortening. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. You could also do this in the microwave, melting in 30 second intervals stirring in between. Dip half of each cookie into chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. If desired, roll dipped edge in sprinkles and/or edible glitter. Place cookies on waxed paper until chocolate is set. Makes about 48 cookies.
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.
100 of my favorite recipes! This is the family-friendly cookbook for anyone looking to plan quick-and-easy meals and wants a way to bring people together, feasting on food which can only be described as scrumptious.