These cookies have 3 of my favorite flavors: white chocolate, shortbread and maraschino cherries! Oh my goodness, these cookies are so delicious I can't stop eating them! They would steal the show at a cookie party for sure.
Lots more pictures and info at The Alchemist.
White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
1/2 cup (3 1/4 oz or 91 g. weighed after draining) maraschino cherries, drained and finely chopped - but save the cherry liquid!
2 1/2 cups (375 g.) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (100 g.) sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) or (228 g.) cold unsalted butter, (or if using salted, reduce the salt amount to 1/4 tsp)
12 ounces (340 g.) white chocolate baking squares with cocoa butter, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 -2 Tablespoons of reserved maraschino cherry liquid
White nonpareils and/or edible glitter (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, 160/170 degrees Celsius, Gas Mark 3.
Spread cherries on paper towels to drain well.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and sugar. Cut the butter into pieces (around 2 Tablespoon size) and add it to the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in drained, chopped cherries and 4 ounces (114 g.) (2/3 cup) of the chopped chocolate. Stir in almond extract and, 1 -2 Tablespoons of the cherry juice. Knead mixture until it forms a smooth ball. It will seem too dry, but the more you knead it, it will come together.
Shape dough into about 1 -1 1/2 inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with a silicone liner (like a Silpat), or lined with parchment paper. Using the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in sugar, flatten balls to 3 inch rounds. Bake in preheated oven for 12- 15 minutes or until centers are set. Cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheet. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.
Melt the white chocolate according to package directions. Dip half of each cookie into chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. If desired, add some sprinkles. Place cookies on waxed paper or parchment, or a silicone baking sheet until chocolate is set. Makes about 3 dozen.
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.