PER LA MIA PAPPA… Dried Cherry Shortbread Cookies!

by valentinalucia

Take note because this only happens once in a blue moon – me, baking a cookie recipe, which uses two full sticks of butter. I feel like Paula Deen! I made these cookies especially for my father, because whenever we go food shopping, he always picks up various kinds of shortbread cookies. He loves them a little bit too much. He’s been trying to get me to make shortbread for the longest time, so I finally caved. Here’s a recipe you’ll only get from the goodness of my holiday-loving heart – Dried Cherry Shortbread Cookies!

This recipe was so quick and simple to make, it almost made me want to make them again (as if the smell of butter and sugar baking in the oven wasn’t enough to tempt me!). Literally, preparing the dough only took about 10-15 minutes, and the rest after that was all baking and waiting time. The smell of these cookies coming out of the oven was divine – a smell I haven’t smelled in ages, thanks to golden, buttery goodness and sugary sweetness. I nibbled on the crumbs when I cut the cookies and they were melt-in-your-mouth amazing!

Not surprisingly, the cookies themselves were just as delicious as their crumbs. They came out so flaky and soft, exactly how a shortbread recipe should be. My dad really liked them, and I found joy in indulging in a cookie that’s mainly butter and sugar for the first time in a while! I made them in the afternoon and then put them in a fridge for a few hours, since my dad likes everything chilled. I think they’re even better chilled than warm, since the cookies have time to sit and, while remaining flaky, gain substance and not be as brittle and breakable as they were right out of the oven. This recipe is definitely a keeper – who knows, maybe next Christmas I’ll make these treats for my dad again.

Dried Cherry Shortbread Cookies (yields about 2 dozen cookies)

Adapted from Martha Stewart (Dried Cranberry Shortbread Hearts)

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup dried cherries

Preparations:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix butter, sugar, vanilla, flour, and salt in a large bowl using an electric mixer until combined, but not too creamy. Stir in dried cherries.

2. Pat dough into an 8- or 9-inch-square baking pan. Bake until just golden, about 20 minutes. Place pan on wire rack to cool, about 20 minutes. Run knife around edges, remove shortbread, and transfer onto a cutting board. Slice into square cookies. Cookies will keep for 5 days at room temperature in an airtight container.

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