Tuesday, March 22, 2011

White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread...

The past few days have been a bit hectic (more on this in a couple days... we have some news to share!) and we've been lucky to get anything on the table for either dinner or snacks. With the Weekly Wednesday Treat Day right around the corner, I knew I had to scrounge around enough time to get a treat made - I ended up going with these White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread.

Do you know what I love best about shortbread? The simple ingredient list and non-laborious preparation! Plenty of butter (oh yeah!), a few scoops of flour, salt, sugar and whatever add-ins to flavor it, which in this case was vanilla, dried cherries and white chocolate. Even though we were already using vanilla extract, I did up the ante by stealing a half cup of vanilla sugar from my precious jug I have brewing in the cabinet. The simple reason for this is I am infatuated with the combination of cherry and vanilla! If you don't have any, of course regular granulated sugar would be fine.

When you add the dry ingredients into the creamed butter and vanilla sugar, just mix it until it looks like coarse crumbles - not combined or smooth at all. The reason for this is the cherries and white chocolate - it takes a bit of oomph to work the two into the stiff dough and you don't want to overwork it.

These wedges have a wicked melt-in-your-mouth texture, with each bite landing a jackpot of cherries and white chocolate morsels - each piece was practically bursting at the seams with the two! I thought the sweet innuendo from the double burst of vanilla hit all the right spots, without stealing the spotlight away from either of the two stars. I was worried using both the scented sugar and extract may end up flowery, but thankfully that didn't happen!

Between the sugar and white chocolate inside and on top of the wedges, I went with, and suggest you do the same, dried tart cherries for a nod towards balance - the cherries usually do have a bit of sugar added, but they still retain a pleasant sour note. I used white chocolate chips (not "vanilla flavored" or "white baking chips") just because I prefer their creamier mouth-feel as they have actual cocoa butter inside, then chopped up a bar of quality white chocolate for the drizzle. If you do use the other types of chips, you may need to add a teaspoon or two of shortening when you melt them down for that drizzle. If you don't, the chips tend to either end up gloppy or too stiff to drizzle well.

I do have one additional note - the directions were clear about pressing the dough into an ungreased baking pan, but I might suggest lining the pans with parchment paper. Of course, there is plenty of butter within the cookies and they didn't really "stick" per se, but they didn't just fall out of the pan either. With each round being cut while they are resting in the pans, that sheet of parchment may also give you a little protection from the tip of the knife. If you do line the pans, and are comfortable with the flipping process, I also might suggest you instead just flip the shortbread out onto a board and cut them there, saving your pan (and knife!) from being beaten up.


  1. Ooh, must try these soon!

  2. Cherry and white chocolate is such a great flavor combination. I have never tried to make a flavored shortbread, but this looks too good not to try - I have this one bookmarked for the next time I need to bring a dessert somewhere (because I know otherwise I'll eat all of these myself!)

  3. Shortbread is truly awesome for its simplicity and versatility! Love the vanilla/cherry/chocolate combo.

    Thanks for the review!

  4. Jodi - Let us know what you think!

    Tammie - hee hee!

    Caroline - Enjoy!

    Kristin - I just need to remember that and make shortbread more often!