white chocolate cherry shortbread

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I don’t think this was terribly successful. I found a recipe online somewhere (I can’t remember where) that claimed you could actually form this dough, once assembled, into a cohesive ball and then could flatten it with a glass to make individual cookies.

No. Fail. Maybe less flour, more butter? Using the recipe below, however, I salvaged it by just pressing the dough into round pans like I do with any other normal shortbread recipe. It was crumbly, and I was skeptical as to whether it would hold together and allow me to cut it into slices. But it did… and even though I have no idea how it tastes or even if the slices will hold up until I get them to their intended recipients, it at least worked well enough for now. I suspect these could be experimented with to achieve a better consistency.

White chocolate cherry shortbread
1/2 cup candied cocktail cherries, chopped finely
2 1/2 cups flour (maybe 2 cups would be better?)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1 to 2 cups white chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or almond, if you prefer)

Preheat oven to 325F/160C. Use two round cake pans to bake in.

Mix flour, sugar, butter and mix until fine crumbs form. Mix in the extract.

Add your cherries and chocolate. Divide dough into the two pans and press it firmly into the pan evenly. Bake for about 15-18 minutes.

 

The cherry on top: Thumbprints with walnuts and maraschino cherries

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This is my 100th post here. My, my… time flies. And so many cookies went along for the ride.

Speaking of taking a ride, I read recently that some auto dealership in the United States is giving away free AK-47 assault rifles with every truck purchase. The real cherry on top would be if the gun were already in a gun rack mounted in the new truck (but this would not comply with the law). Um, yeah. Only in America…

Among the many cookies I baked last weekend, brown sugar thumbprints are some of the “standards” on which I grew up. My mother always made them for Christmas (and never any other time of year). When I recently “taught” (if you could call 20+ people running around a small kitchen in what can only be described as a state of chaos as “teaching”) a baking course at work, this is one of the recipes we made. It is a simple recipe but allows for a lot of customization when you go for rolling the dough in different things (coconut, nuts, sprinkles, etc.) and putting what you want in the thumbprint (various jams or a maraschino cherry). The traditional way in my household was what I went for here — chopped walnuts and half a maraschino cherry on top. The literal cherry on top.

THUMBPRINTS (this recipe makes a very small amount of dough; I always double it and sometimes quadruple it)
Preheat oven to 350°F

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, separated
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup finely chopped nuts (optional — you can use sprinkles or whatever you want to roll the dough in)
halved maraschino cherries OR jam

Mix together all ingredients except egg white, nuts, cherries. Chill. Shape 1 inch balls. Roll balls in egg whites, nuts and press cherry into top. Or make a thumbprint and fill with jam. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.