White Chocolate Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

It’s time for the holiday baking to dominate your kitchen! I hope you had a talk with your oven about all the overtime it is going to be accumulating over the next month. Which means you need to be sure that you fill it with plenty of delicious treats for compensation.

Last year through a holiday cookie swap, I received a batch of white chocolate cherry shortbread cookies. They were the best shortbread I had ever tasted, so when I found a recipe using cranberries it was instantly added to my list of things to make. The cranberries add just a little bit of tartness to the overall sweetness of these shortbread cookies. And the added moisture made them super soft as well! Who knew shortbread could be so sweet, flavorful, and soft?

You may be able to use up any leftover homemade cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving in these cookies. I haven’t tried it myself, but it sounds good to me.

WHITE CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY SHORTBREAD COOKIES

Makes 3 dozen

Ingredients:

1/2 cup fresh cranberries, finely chopped*

2-1/4 cups + 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

12 oz. white chocolate baking bars (such as Ghirardelli), finely chopped, divided*

1 tsp almond extract

2 drops red food coloring

2 tsp shortening

Red sanding sugar

* I used a small food processor to finely chop the cranberries and white chocolate

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together the flour and sugar. Add the butter and toss with a fork to coat with the flour mixture. Mix on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with the butter pieces no larger than small peas.
  3. Stir in chopped cranberries and 4 ounces of the chopped white chocolate. Stir in almond extract and food coloring. The mixture will be crumbly. Knead mixture until it begins to stick together. Using a tablespoon, mold dough into a 1 inch ball. With your hand or the bottom of a glass cup, flatten balls into a 1-1/2-inch round and place on prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake, one baking sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until centers are set. Cool for 1 minute on the baking sheet before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. in a small saucepan over low heat, combine remaining 8 ounces white chocolate and the shortening. Cook and stir until melted. Dip half of each cookie into chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. Roll dipped edge or half in sanding sugar. Place cookies on waxed paper until chocolate is set.

Source: Sweet Pea’s Kitchen

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