Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cherry Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

I found this recipe on an advertisement in the newspaper a week or so ago and knew I had to try them. I love cherries and chocolate--and shortbread! How could it go wrong? They're really easy and chances are you've already got most of the stuff in your cabinets.

1 c. butter, softened (no subs.)
1/2 c. sugar, plus 1 T. for dipping
1/2 t. almond extract
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. corn starch
1/2 c. finely chopped dried cherries (they recommend Sunsweet)
about 1/4 c. finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate

1. Mix butter, sugar, and almond extract thoroughly using an electric mixer. Gradually blend in flour and corn starch. Add cherries and chocolate.
2. Form into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheet. Pour extra sugar onto small plate and dip the bottom of a water glass into it then press gently down on top of the cookies to flatten. (You may need to moisten the glass somehow. I used a tad of cooking spray.)
3. Bake at 300* F. for 20 to 30 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes; remove to wire rack and cool completely.

This recipe also drizzles some melted chocolate on top (in a freezer bag, put 1/2 c. chocolate chips and 1 t. shortening, microwave on high for about 30 seconds. Snip off corner and drizzle over cookies.) but I thought it was just perfect without it. Also, they tasted even better the next day, so they're great to make a day or two ahead of a cookie exchange or to give to neighbors!

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