Well now that Christmas and New Year’s is behind us it’s on to the next holiday–Valentine’s Day! There are so many cute things to make and bake for Valentine’s Day it’s really hard to know how to choose or where to start. But, I had seen these cookies on Pinterest and the ingredients alone made me want to make them immediately. I have a thing for cherry-almond anything. And cute, pink baked goods.
Speaking of pink, you can’t make much for a holiday that is trademarked in pink and red without using UNGODLY amounts of dye. And these cookies are no exception to that but you could always omit the dye and bring in the color with the sprinkles and sugar…at least it cuts back on the unnatural ingredients a little.
These were supposed to be a shortbread cookie but the dough was so incredibly dry I just couldn’t resist adding more liquid, plus I wasn’t happy with the flavor and wanted to amp up the cherry and almond in it. They might not have quite the crumbly shortbread texture and actually more closely resemble a soft sugar cookie, but these cookies are AMAZING. Jeremy and I could have eaten them all and according to him they are the best cookie I’ve ever made and I never need to make him a birthday cake ever again, just these cookies. Done.
Recipe adapted from BHG
- 2½ c. All-Purpose Flour
- ½ c. Granulated Sugar
- 1 c. (2 sticks) Cold, Unsalted Butter
- ½ c. Maraschino Cherries, drained, squeezed (somewhat) dry with paper towels and finely chopped
- 11 oz. White Chocolate Chips
- 3 t. Almond Extract
- ½ t. Pure Vanilla
- 6 T. Cherry Juice, reserved from the maraschino cherries
- Pink or Red Dye
- Sprinkles, sanding sugar, etc for decor
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender or two forks (I actually prefer to use my fingers), cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in drained and chopped cherries and ⅔ cup of the white chocolate chips. Stir in the cherry juice, almond extract, vanilla and food dye. Knead the mixture a bit to get it into a more cohesive mass. Pinch off a chunk of dough and form a ¾-inch ball. Place on the cookie sheet and press down slightly with a drinking glass that has been dipped in granulated sugar.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes (mine took 12 minutes exactly) or until the centers are set. Do not overbake. Cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
- In a small bowl, melt the rest of the white chocolate in the microwave at 20-second intervals, stirring between each. Dip half the cookies in the melted white chocolate and decorate with sprinkles, sugar, etc. Place on foil and let dry completely.