I'm not much for making platters of cookies to give away during the holidays. I know that we are given so many, that often they go to waste, so I gift other items such as my pomegranate jelly. However, if I were to make cookie platters these little cookies would be on them! They are easy to make, not overly sweet, and their pink color makes them very festive (they would also be a good Valentines Day cookie, too!)
I like them just as they are but if you are a real chocoholic you can drizzle them with melted chocolate. White chocolate chips can be substituted for the dark chips if that is more to your liking. They are very versatile!
Chocolate and Maraschino Cherry Shortbread Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup maraschino cherries, chopped and patted dry
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and confectioners sugar. Combine the flour and salt; slowly add to the creamed mixture. Mix until it starts forming larger clumps.
Mix in the maraschino cherries, chocolate chips and the two extracts.
On a lightly floured surface, form the dough into a log. Wrap it in plastic and let it chill for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Cut the log into 1/4-inch thick slices and place them on a parchment-lined baking pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes until they just start to turn lightly brown on top.
Remove to wire rack and let cool completely.