Cherry Pistachio and White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies by Baking The Goods.
Oh holy night, life is chestnuts during the month of December, amiright or amiright?! Every year I think I am going to get it together and get ahead of the game and then find myself feeling like I got run over by a reindeer mid-month. I am terrible about making holiday plans and the absolute worst at gift giving. I resist for as long as I can and then panic at the last minute. I end up buying desperate gifts that nobody wants in the first place. Its always a mangled mess of madness. But the one thing I am good at prioritizing is holiday cookies, I bake the dickens out of Christmas cookies this time of year and thankfully everybody on my list loves a good cookie.
For my 6th and final #BakingTheGoodsWithBobs campaign of 2019, in partnership with my palsBobs Red Mill, we are focusing on the seasons saving grace, COOKIES! We are calling this series #illbehomeforcookies and we will focus on comforting and festive holiday cookies throughout the campaign. To participate, follow along over on my Instagram @bakingthegoods from now until Christmas. You can also follow that hashtag#illbehomeforcookies and tag your own festive cookie images.
While we may have visions of adorably shaped gingerbread cookies like my Gingerbread Coconut Llama Cookies or impeccably decorated sugar cookies like my Christmas Movie Cookies, I realize thats not always in the Christmas cards. Especially during this busy time of year. So, this year I wanted to make something that is big on festivity for those of us short on time. My new Cherry Pistachio and White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies feature those classic Christmas colors; with red tart cherries, green pistachios and white chocolate. The dough whips together in a jiff and can be pre-rolled into dough logs until youre ready to bake. That way you can save yourself time by mixing and rolling the dough, and all you have to do is bake and decorate when youre ready for fresh cookies.
TheseCherry Pistachio and White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies begin with the simplest, buttery shortbread base using my go-to Bobs Red Mill Organic All Purpose Flour. They get studded with chopped green pistachios and chewy tart cherries. Once baked, theseCherry Pistachio and White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies take a quick dip or drizzle in creamy, melted white chocolate and then get a glitzy sprinkle of Bobs Red Mill Sparkling Sugar to amp up the fancy factor.
And here is some other great news, theseCherry Pistachio and White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies are totally adaptable. The shortbread cookie base is simple enough that it allows you to swap in other ingredients. Say you arent a pistachio person, swap em out for another nut. Would you rather go for cranberries over cherries, done. Dark chocolate and sea salt would also make for a fab finish in place of the white chocolate and sparkling sugar. My point is, youve got options with these simple cookies. Make myCherry Pistachio and White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies or make them your own by trading in whatever ingredients get you going this holiday season.
One more super special trick to theseCherry Pistachio and White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies is that they stay fresh for days, weeks even! So these babies will last from now until Christmas if you want to package up some pretty cookie boxes for holiday gifts. File theseCherry Pistachio and White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies under bake smarter, not harder this holiday season.
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These Cherry Pistachio and White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies dont take many ingredients to make. Just some good quality butter, Bobs Red Mill Organic All Purpose Flour, a little salt, some sugar, almond extract, pistachios, tart cherries, white chocolate and some Bobs Red Mill Sparkling Sugar to really make them shine.
Look at all of that texture that happens when you add the chopped pistachios and tart cherries to the Cherry Pistachio and White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies.
The Cherry Pistachio and White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies dough gathers together easily and already looks festive as fudge at this point!
I like mixing it up and shaping these Cherry Pistachio and White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies into a round log or a square log for different shaped slice and bake cookies.
Once the Cherry Pistachio and White Chocolate Shortbread Cookie dough logs are shaped, you simply wrap them in parchment paper and pop them in the freezer until you are ready to bake. For the round logs, sliding the log into a paper towel roll helps them stay perfectly round as they chill.
Slice and bake cookies are the BEST! You just keep them in the freezer and once you are ready to bake, let them warm up and soften up just enough to slice, then bake away. You can slice 2 or 20, depending on your cookie needs!
These Cherry Pistachio and White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies slices are almost too cute to bake, almost.
Since its the holiday season, I like to fancy up my cookies so these Cherry Pistachio and White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies take a dip or drizzle in white chocolate and then get a spirited sprinkle of Bobs Red Mill Sparkling Sugar.
Dunking these Cherry Pistachio and White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies in some melted white chocolate adds a little something extra.
To keep it interesting, I like a mix of cookie shapes and decorating styles. These Cherry Pistachio and White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies can be shaped into square or round slice & bake logs. Then dipped or drizzled with white chocolate. You get lots of visual impact with minimal work, win/win!
Adding a sprinkle of Bobs Red Mill Sparkling Sugar gives these Cherry Pistachio and White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies a festive finish.
Once youve decorated the cookies, place them on a wire cooling rack until the white chocolate sets. I just adore the mix of shapes and decorative elements happening with these Cherry Pistachio and White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies!
Put these Cherry Pistachio and White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies out on a seasonal plate and they instantly elevate the holiday spirit.
I betcha Santa could eat this whole plateful of Cherry Pistachio and White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies.
Your holidays will definitely be happier with these Cherry Pistachio and White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies.
Cherry Pistachio and White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
TheseCherry Pistachio and White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies are simple slice & bake cookies with buttery shortbread, studded with chopped green pistachios & chewy tart cherries. Once baked, dipped & drizzled in melted white chocolate with a glitzy sprinkle of sparkling sugar.
CHERRY PISTACHIO AND WHITE CHOCOLATE SHORTBREAD COOKIES
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter (- at room temperature)
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 3/4 cup raw pistachios (- roughly chopped)
- 3/4 cup dried tart cherries (- roughly chopped)
- 6 ounces white chocolate
- 2-3 tablespoons Bob's Red Mill Sparkling Sugar (or demerara sugar)
Measure flour and salt into a mixing bowl and whisk together.
With the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on a medium high speed for about 5 minutes, until fluffy, airy and lighter in color. Be sure to stop your mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times so you are sure to incorporate all of the sugar into the butter.
Add the almond extract and cream until blended.
With the mixer on a low stir, slowly add the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Stir in the chopped pistachios and chopped dried cherries until mixed in.
Turn out the dough onto a clean, lightly floured surface. Gently gather the dough together into a disk by gently patting, not kneading the dough, and pat to flatten the top. Once you have a round disk shape, use a knife or a bench knife to cut directly in half and set aside.
Clean your work surface with a bench knife, then lay down a sheet of parchment paper. If you have a couple of empty paper towel rolls handy, have them available. Drop one of your dough halves on the parchment paper and use your hands to shape a rough log shape, roll into a smooth log until it is about 1 -1 12 in diameter (eyeball it to about the size of your empty paper towel roll).
Wrap the parchment paper around your dough log, lengthwise. Then twist each end of the paper into pigtails in opposite directions (one towards you and one away from you) to form a locking mechanism. With each twist, the dough will compress and becomes smoothed out (think of it like a sausage in a casing). Roll from the center outward until you feel that you have a smooth, cylindrical log.Now you can get tricky (optionally) and stuff that dough log into an empty paper towel roll, it should be a snug fit but should slide in and out easily.
*The idea behind the paper towel roll is that your dough is going to hold its cylindrical shape while it chills instead of having a flat bottom.
For the second square log, gather your dough and pat it together into a rectangular shape, squaring off the edges. Press into the counter to square off the edges and turn the log 1/4 turn (instead of rolling) patting gently on the top to create an even surface. Keep rotating and patting until the log is about1 -1 12 around and square. Wrap in parchment as you did with the round log.
Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour, if not 2. This allows the dough to set up and hold its shape nicely when baking. *You can also freeze the dough at this point. Just remember to defrost it overnight in the fridge or at room temperature for about an hour before slicing and baking.
Preheat oven to 325 F.
Remove dough logs from the fridge and unroll on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice the log into 14 12 thick cookies. You should get about 16-20 cookies per log. Arrange them on a Silpat mat or parchment paper lined baking sheet in a 3 x 4 pattern, evenly spaced.
Bake for 18-22 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the bake. They should come out with a golden ring around the edge and be firm to the touch with just a bit of give in the center.
Allow to cool either right on the trays or on a cooling rack.
Roughly chop the white chocolate bars.Using a double boiler (or using a heatproof bowl over a saucepan), melt the white chocolate chunks over just simmering water (not boiling), stirring occasionally until smooth.
For the dip method gently dip the cookies halfway into the melted white chocolate, at an angle, to coat. Set the cookies backside down, with the chocolate side facing up, on a baking sheet with a cooling rack to set.Sprinkle with sparkling sugar while the chocolate is still tacky.
For the drizzle method Place the cookies on a cooking rack and use the whisk to wave the melted white chocolate back and fourth over the cookies creating a messy drizzle.Sprinkle with sparkling sugar while the chocolate is still tacky.
Let sit for an hour so the chocolate has time to set before serving.
This recipe if highly adaptable, feel free to make it your own by swapping in different nuts or dried fruit. You could also use dark or milk chocolate in place of white chocolate. Cranberry and hazelnut with dark chocolate would be really yummy.
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