Monday, December 16, 2013

White-Chocolate Cherry Shortbread

Going to bed last night, I vowed not to eat sweets during the upcoming week. Now I find myself trying to determine what goes into the category of "sweet".   Do snacks like chocolate covered raisins, frozen yogurt, hot chocolate and granola count as a sweet?  Not in my book.  
Some people might say that it gets trickier when trying to decide if items such as gingerbread and shortbread are sweets, but once again, I have decided NO, they are not.  I wouldn't count whole wheat bread or 9 grain or even white bread as a sweet, so why would shortbread or gingerbread be a sweet?! 

With this rationale, I had zero guilt when I made (and ate) these delicious White-Chocolate Cherry Shortbread cookies today. 

White-Chocolate Cherry Shortbread
(recipe - Better Homes & Gardens)
1/2 cup of maraschino cherries, drained and finely chopped
2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of sugar
1 cup of cold butter
12 ounces of white chocolate baking squares with cocoa butter, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
2 drops red food coloring (optional)
2 teaspoons of shortening
White nonpareils and/or red edible glitter (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spread cherries on paper towels to drain well.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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