Saturday, July 12, 2014

White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread

Life should not revolve around eating healthy all the time. I constantly have to remind myself of this. Yes, eating whole foods is wise, but once in a while just relax. Indulge. Don't feel guilty. 

And boy, oh boy, I have a perfect indulgence for you all today! Flakey, rich, and buttery, these shortbread cookies are TO DIE FOR. my family is frequently begging my to make them, no joke!

Several years back, I became convince shortbread was disgusting. Dry and bland. But. But. My opinion was based off of those gross girl scout cardboard disks that they call shortbread. Don't get me wrong, girl scouts know how to make a dang good cookie (hello, Thin Mints), but they could use a lesson or two on shortbread. Just sayin'.

These cookie would be marvelous with macadamia nuts, but alas, we have tree nut allergies in our house, not to mention they're sooo expensive!

Anyway, last summer, for some reason, I went on a shortbread-making marathon, developing variation upon variation:
Triple chocolate
Chocolate peanut butter
Lemon poppy seed
Oatmeal raisin
Cinnamon spice
Orange cranberry
And so on.
And of all these, our favorite was this one. (With cinnamon spice in second place). 

I just love foods that are blank pages; onces that can be experimented with in countless flavors, such as oatmeal, rice noodles, and shortbread.

And so (at last) here is the magical combination:
(Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)

White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread
1 cup flour
3 Tbsp. Sugar
1/2 cup butter (one stick)
1/2 cup white chocolate chunks or chips, or chop up a bar into chunks
1/2 cup dried cherries

1) Two hours ahead: stick butter in the fridge.
2) Two hours later: preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit
3) In a small bowl, soak cherries in warm water for abot ten minutes until slightly bloated and soft. Drain water and lightly pat cherries dry with paper towel.
4) In a medium bowl, combine flour and sugar.
5) Using a cheese grater, shred frozen butter over flour mixture quickly, before it melts. While shredding, you may want to toss the freshly grated butter with the flour-sugar every few seconds to keep the butter from sticking to itself.
6) Using clean hands, knead the crumbly mixtur together until it forms a ball. Then knead in chocolate and cherries.
7) Spread about 1/2 inch thick onto a lightly greased pan (I used a stoneware shortbread pan) and prick the dough with a fork or toothpick multiple times.  Bake about 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
8) Let sit after removing from oven for about 20 minutes before removing from pan and cutting into wedges or squares. I always get 9 fairly large squares.


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