Cherry-Almond Shortbread

Hello, Sunday!

Your hunt for the perfect shortbread cookie is over! This cookie has it all: a little bit of flour, bit of butter, bit of dried cherries, almonds, and along with a chill time gives you an amazing, slightly crumbly, crispy, melt in your mouth shortbread cookie.  The cherries are soaked in sherry with citrus lemon zest and almonds for deliciousness. Stop the hunt! It’s time to bake!

Now let’s do it!

For the Cookie:

1 whole egg, plus 1 yolk

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 sticks butter, 16 tablespoons

3/4 cup cherries, dried

2 tablespoon sherry or water

1/2 cup almonds, slivers

1 cup granulated sugar

2 1/2 cups flour

1/4 cup sugar

To Make the Cookies:

In a bowl, mix cherries with sherry and microwave on medium for 1 minute. Set aside to cool, then roughly chop.

Mix egg plus yolk, almond extract, and zest in a small bowl.

To make the dough, beat the butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add cherries and mix until combined.  Add flour and salt, and mix until the dough comes together. Add almonds and mix until combined. Chill mixture for 10 minutes before rolling into a log. This step will make it easier for rolling.

Divide dough in half. Scrape one of the portions onto a work surface lined with plastic wrap. With floured hands, form dough into a 2 1/2-inch by 9-inch (round or square) log, pressing edges with hands to form neat ends. Repeat with the remaining portion of dough. Using the plastic wrap as a guide,  set logs in the freezer and chill until firm, at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days in the refrigerate.

Getting Ready to Bake:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a bowl, add 1/4 cup of sugar, set aside.

Working with one log at a time, leaving the plastic on the dough, slice dough 1/4-inch thick. Roll in sugar and place slices on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, about 1/2-inch apart. Bake for 14 -16 minutes, rotating cookie sheet halfway through. Bake until cookies are golden and set. Cool completely on baking sheets.

For crisper shortbread, turn off oven and prop the door open with handle of wooden spoon. Allow the shortbread to dry in turned-off oven until pale golden in center, about 1 hour. This is worth the extra effort.

Bakes: 60 cookies

Thanks, for stopping by!

Eileen

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