White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread

cherry-shortbread-cookiesLet the holiday baking begin! I saw these beautiful cookies in Better Homes & Gardens and needed to make them. They’re pretty easy to make… Although, cutting in the butter is always a pain. They also taste amazing. 🙂

Ingredients

1/2 c Maraschino Cherries, drained and finely chopped
2 1/2 c All-Purpose Flour
1/2 c Sugar
1 c Butter, cold
12 oz White Chocolate Baking Squares w/ cocoa butter
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
2 drops Red Food Coloring (optional)
2 tsp Shortening
Sprinkles (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread cherries on paper towels to drain well.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Cut butter into dry mixture until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in drained cherries and 4 oz of chopped white chocolate. Stir in the almond extract and food coloring. Knead mixture until it forms a smooth ball.
  3. Shape dough into 3/4 inch balls. Place ball two inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in sugar. Flatten to 1 1/2 inch rounds.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven for 12 minutes. Cool for one minute on a cookie sheet and transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
  5. In a small saucepan, combine remaining 8 oz of white chocolate and shortening. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. Dip half of each cookie in chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. Roll dipped edge in sprinkles. Place cookies on wax paper until chocolate is set.

-Sara

Christmas Cookie Recipe: Melted Snowman Cookies

Melted Snowman CookiesInstead of making a huge assortment of Christmas cookies, I usually just choose two new dessert recipes to experiment with. (Since it’s for my family, I’m not embarrassed if they don’t turn out. They’ll tell me if they are terrible, but more likely they’ll eat whatever is put in front of them.)

This year I kind of cheated. I made the pecan pie bars (the recipe I posted a few weeks ago) because they are just that delicious and we usually don’t have anything like that at my parents’ house. They turned out awesome as usual. I actually made these for my company potluck as well this week.

The new cookies I made were Melted Snowman Cookies. I found the recipe on Pinterest, and they were just too cute; I had to try them! (I apologize; I forgot to take a photo of the actual ones I made.) Warning: These cookies take quite some time to make! You need to make the cookie dough the night before, and decorating the cookies is rather laborous. Even still, they were a hit; everyone loved them!

Here was my new, Pinterest-Inspired Recipe…

Melted Snowman Cookies Recipe

Ingredients – Sugar Cookie Dough

1 cup Margarine
1 1/2 cups White Sugar
3 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla
3 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt

Directions – Sugar Cookie Dough

  1. Cream the margarine and add the sugar gradually. Beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  2. Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt gradually into the mixture, stirring by hand. Cover and chill dough overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Using a tablespoon, scoop a small ice cream scooped size of dough and sprinkle it with flour.
  5. Roll the dough into a ball and start to press it flat to about 1/2 inch thick. Make it so it’s wavy looking. The ultimate goal is to make it look like a puddle.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees F for 6 to 7 minutes or until cookie has a golden appearance.

Ingredients – Royal Icing

3 tablespoons Wilton Meringue Powder
1 pound Powdered Sugar, Sifted
6 tablespoons Water

Directions – Royal Icing

  1. If using a counter top mixer, beat all ingredients at low speed for 7 to 10 minutes until icing forms peaks. If you are using a hand held mixer, it will take 10 to 12 minutes.
  2. After you get stiff peaks, transfer about 1/2 into a bowl and add 1/2 teaspoon of water at a time while stirring until the consistency is slightly runny. (To test consistency, using a knife, scoop a little of your icing and hold above the bowl. As it drips, count to 10. By the count of 10, the icing that dripped down should meld into the icing in the bowl so there’s no indication of where the drips landed.)

Ingredients – Melted Snowmen Cookies

Marshmallows
Icing, Different Colors (I used black, orange and blue.)

Directions – Melted Snowmen Cookies

  1. Once cookies have cooled, place a piece of parchment paper on your work surface.
  2. Spoon a small puddle of icing onto your cookie and using the back of the spoon or knife spread it around making sure to go right to the edges in some spots so it looks drippy.
  3. Liberally grease a plate with shortening and place 8 marshmallows, spaced out. Set your microwave for 20 seconds, but watch the marshmallows so they don’t get too big. Stop as soon as they start to puff.
  4. Liberally grease your fingers and place a marshmallow on each cookie, smooshing it into place.
  5. Let the icing set for 5 minutes.
  6. Decorate the cookies as snowmen as desired. I just using icing, but you can use sprinkles, candy, etc.

My Week in Photos

I am totally copying this idea from Sara. Obviously.  But since she’s my blog partner, it’s legit, right?

But, for my week…  I started the week out in Madison and was able to catch up with lots of friends that I haven’t seen for a while.  I was so lucky that I made it to the most wonderful state in America late Saturday night, because it was a blizzard Sunday!  On Tuesday my best friend Cory Lee and I made cookies.  Note to self…cookies should not look like pancakes when baking in the oven.

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The rest of my week has been filled with finishing up stuff for school and work.  I took an online test which ended up being a lot harder than I thought.  And I have been sporting this HOT work shoes this week.  Graduation is today so I plan on working from 10am to 10pm. WOOOOOT.

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I also intern at a high school about 20 minutes out of Mankato and I was able to teach my first developmental guidance lesson.  I created the four day curriculum teaching personality and value inventories, career search skills and how to choose a college to an 8th grade class.  It was exciting to be doing it by myself for the first time.  I am putting my big girl panties on and doing what I’ve always wanted to do! 🙂  Have a great weekend!

-Allie