I recently took place in the first annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, where food bloggers bake and send a dozen cookies out to three bloggers, and in return, you receive a dozen cookies from three other bloggers. Needless to say, my husband thinks this is the greatest blogging project I've ever participated in! I loved it for the fun of receiving three packages of treats, and finding six new food blogs to read!
Choosing which cookie to make was not as easy as I thought it would be. I'm inspired daily by others' creations that I see on Pinterest, and I changed my mind four or five times before deciding on these, but in the end I think I picked the right cookie! They're small, chewy, cheery pink and cherry-flavored with festive white chocolate and red sprinkles. I sent off three pink cookies jars full off to Stephanie at Okie Dokie Artichokie, Erin at The Spiffy Cookie, and Allison at Allison Eats.
In return, I received almond crescent cookies from Return to Sunday Supper, Snickers Surprise cookies from Lindsay at The Little Foodie and gluten-free Chai Snickerdoodles from Catherine at Munchie Musings. They were all delicious- and I thank you all so much for your generosity, and beautiful packaging!!!
For anyone who thinks these shortbread cookies have a place on your holiday table, the recipe is fairly easy, though time-consuming if you make lots of little cookies like I did. For a quicker turnaround, I'd suggest making fewer, bigger sized cookies.
And for any fellow food bloggers who missed out on the swap this year, you can sign up here to get notifications for next year's swap!
White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens
- 1/2 Cup Maraschino cherries
- 2-4 tbsp. of juice from the cherry jar
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 sticks cold butter
- 1 package of white chocolate chips - chopped in processor or by hand
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 2 tsp. shortening
- Red sprinkles (or any kind of sprinkle you'd like)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Chop the cherries (stems removed) in a food processor as finely as possible; you can also chop them by hand but I love the speed and ease of the processor. Pour the cherries and their juice (add 2-4 extra tablespoons of juice from the jar to the bowl as well- use two for color, four for color and flavor.)
- Mix the flour and sugar in a large bowl, and then using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in the butter until it is combined into a crumbly mixture. I WRECKED my pastry cutter doing this- my butter may have been too cold- just a heads up to be careful!
- Stir in cherries, cherry juice, 2/3 cup of white chocolate bits, and almond extract. Knead all ingredients together and form a nice smooth doughy ball.
- Shape dough into 3/4 inch balls (if you want to make LOTS!) or 1 - 1.5 inch balls for bigger cookies.
- Place each ball 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Take a water glass, dip the bottom in water and then into sugar to coat it. Smush the balls of dough into thin discs with the sugar-coated cup.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, cool 1 minute on the cookie sheet and then move to wire racks to cool completely.
- When all the cookies are cooled, mix the rest of the white chocolate with the shortening in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until melted and combined.
- Dip half of each cookies into the chocolate and let the extra drip off, or scrape it off with a spatula or spoon. While the white chocolate is still wet, roll the edge through the sprinkles to decorate.