Thursday, January 5, 2012

White Chocolate-Cherry Shortbread Cookies

Before I get to this amazing recipe, I just wanted to update everyone on happenings in my life. My dad had his surgery two days ago. He had most of his esophagus removed and his stomach is now attached to his throat. They said everything looks good and they got all the cancer. We'll know for sure if it's all gone when we get the pathology report back. He's doing very well and recovering nicely. There might be a problem with his heart rate since his stomach is now behind his heart, but the surgeon didn't seem worried, and he said if it continues, they'll fix it with medication. So he has a minimum of 13 days left in the hospital, but he's doing well!

In other news, I got a call from the theatre in Wisconsin. I have to call them back today, but I think they're going to offer me the job! I hate to move so far away, but it's not for over 4 months yet, and I would only be there for 5 months. I also got an e-mail from a theatre near Philly. They're remodeling the theatre and hope to open this summer, so they'll start hiring staff soon. I'm keeping all of my fingers crossed that they give me an interview! I'd much rather move to Philadelphia than Wisconsin!

So those are the major events going on in my life. It's all very exciting! Now on to this great recipe. I wasn't going to post any Christmas cookie recipes since it's well past Christmas, but I love these! They can be made any time of the year, they're not just for Christmastime, so I thought it would be ok to share.

White Chocolate-Cherry Shortbread Cookies

1/2 C. maraschino cherries - drained and finely chopped
2 1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. sugar
1 C. cold butter
12 oz. white chocolate - finely chopped
1/2 tsp. almond extract
4 drops red food coloring
2 tsp. shortening
sprinkles, edible glitter, colored sugar, etc.

- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spread chopped cherries on a paper towel to drain well.
- In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until crumbly. Stir in drained cherries and 4 oz. of the chopped white chocolate. Stir in almond extract and food coloring. Knead the mixture until it forms a smooth ball, and the coloring is evenly distributed throughout the dough.
- Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls and place 2" apart on a greased cookie sheet. Using the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar, or your hands, flatten the balls.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, until centers are set. Cool for a minute on the cookie sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
-In a small saucepan, combine the remaining chocolate and shortening. Stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Dip half of each cookie in the melted chocolate and allow excess to drip off. Roll the dipped edge in sprinkles, edible glitter, sugar, etc., if desired. Place on wax paper to dry. Once dry, store in a cool place in an airtight container.

A few notes from my kitchen:
-To chop the cherries finely, I just ran them through a mini-chopper for a few seconds, then spread them out on the paper towels.
-I also chopped the chocolate in a chopper. I just used white chocolate chips, so there were some bigger chunks. For smaller bits, use bars of chocolate. (Chocolate chips don't chop well in an electric chopper, but I like the bigger bits.)



I just got off the phone with the American Players Theatre in Wisconsin. I got the job! So basically, I'll be living and working in Spring Green, Wisconsin from May 14th-October 11th.

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