Monday, January 9

Good Eating Monday: Maraschino Cherry & Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

This recipe was a new holiday cookies recipe I tried from Pinterest for the 2016 holiday season! It's a shortbread, so it's a mild, buttery cookie with a festive touch of Maraschino cherry and rich semi-sweet or dark chocolate bits!
They're a "refrigerator cookie," meaning you mix it up, roll it up in wax paper, refrigerate then cut and bake a couple hours later.
They're best made in advance before serving--as much as 2 to 3 weeks and should stored in the refrigerator until you're ready to put them out.
They do get a richer flavor over time!
Shortbread cookies should be made with real butter for best performance & flavor!

Maraschino Cherry & Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies
Ingredients:
1 cup Unsalted Butter, softened at room temperature. (that's 2 sticks)
1/2 cup Confectioners Sugar
1/2 Tablespoon Vanilla
1 cups all-purpose Flour
2/3 cup Semi-Sweet or Dark Chocolate Chips
3/4 cup Maraschino cherries, chopped, then spread on a paper towel to absorb excess juice.
 (Cocktail Maraschino Cherries that come without stems are easiest. Or you can sub dried cherries.)

Directions:
Mix flour & salt & set aside.
Cream butter and confectioners sugar together, then add Vanilla and stir until well blended.
Add flour/salt mixture gradually stirring in until dough forms clumps.
Stir in cherries & choc chips
On a sheet of wax paper, form the dough into a log shape about 2 inches thick, pressing firmly so there are no air bubbles. Roll up in wax paper, turn ends under so no air gets in or wrap additionally with plastic wrap and refrigerate a minimum of 2 hours.
When ready to cut and bake: spray a cookie sheet with oil spray or line with parchment paper, then cut the log into 1/4 inch or 1/3 inch slices. 
Arrange on cookie sheet with at least 1 inch between each cookie and bake 10 - 15 minutes--or until they're faintly light brown on top and around bottom edges.
Let cool 5 minutes on sheet before moving to cooling rack.

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My observations on this cookie, having made it:
 I think it would be a good idea to reduce the amount of Vanilla amount to 1 1/2 teaspoons and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of Maraschino cherry juice, which still equals the 1/2 Tablespoon, and the cherry juice would enhance the festive cherry-ness of these cookies plus give them a hint of pink color!
 Also I'd use a full cup of cherries and a full cup of chocolate chips!
That way, they'd come out looking more like the picture, full of cherries and chips!

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