cherry-almond cookies

If you love the flavor combination of cherry, almond, and white chocolate – you will love these cookies.

Cherry-Almond Cookies

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1 cup cold butter
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and finely chopped
12 ounces white chocolate baking squares with cocoa butter, finely chopped
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon of kosher salt
2 drops red food coloring (optional)
2 teaspoons shortening
colored sugar (red)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine flour 1/2 cup of sugar and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in drained cherries and 4 ounces (2/3 cup) of the chopped chocolate, and almond extract. Knead mixture until it forms a smooth ball.

Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in sugar, flatten balls to 1-1/2-inch rounds.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until centers are lightly browned. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

In a microwave (70% power), melt shortening and remaining 8 ounces white chocolate for 1 minute, stir. Microwave at additional 10-15 second intervals, stirring until smooth.

Dip half of each cookie into the chocolate, allow excess to drip off. Sprinkle with sugar and place on waxed paper until chocolate has set.

Makes about 60 cookies.

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