Thursday, December 22, 2011
White-Chocolate Cherry Shortbread
This recipe caught my eye on Pinterest with the simple caption: "Apparently, the best Christmas cookie ever." "Best" piqued my interest, and "ever" drove it home. How could I possibly ignore the recipe for the best Christmas cookie ever?
So I decide to make it on a whim and take it to my friend's house as my contribution to her annual cookie swap. I had already made a couple of other kinds of cookies but this one seemed like it would be my show-stopper.
Besides, I have never been able to truly master shortbread, and I thought this might be the recipe to change my unlucky streak. Not quite. This is a pretty cookie yes, but it's also a high-maintenance one. Unlike classic shortbread, it's delicate and doesn't hold its form well.
What really bothered me though, and I swear I'm not this insecure about everything, is that no one ever said these were tasty, I think they were just OK. For met my part, I liked the underlying hint of cherry-almond but I wished the cookie was a bit more dense.
Here's the thing: I love maraschino cherries - I even eat them straight out of the jar. But I know a lot of people detest them, and so perhaps it was the underlying maraschino cherry flavour that threw people off.
It's subtle, though, and I don't think you would be able to identify it unless told it was there. And I didn't tell people it was there unless they asked what kind of cookies they were. If you want to try this yourself (and if I haven't turned you off yet) you can find the recipe at the Better Homes and Gardens website.
Substitutions: In the original recipe you'll see they've used red and white jimmies to dip the cookies in, I used Christmas-coloured nonpareils and plain white ones. You be the judge of which you prefer. I don't think the Christmas-colours quite work with the delicate pink of this cookie, however.
My husband told me he liked the cookies straight out of the oven, before I dipped them in white chocolate and sprinkles but I firmly disagree, they need a mellow taste to round them out, and the crunch of the sprinkles is a satisfying counterpoint to the crumbly cookie.
Would I make this again? Honestly, probably not, I don't think it was worth all the effort. If I'm going to go to all the trouble of making dozens of cookies and then dipping them, I'd probably make nut-based ones that have a longer shelf life and seem to find greater appeal among the masses.
Grade: Four stars out of five. These would make great additions to a princess-themed birthday, or a tea party or even bridal shower. I just don't think they're show-stoppers all on their lonesome. And they're not festive nor flavourful enough to be the ideal Christmas cookie. Next?