White Chocolate Dipped Cherry Shortbread
2 1/2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
pinch of salt
1 c cold butter, cubed
10 oz chopped white chocolate, divided
1/2 tsp almond or vanilla extract
3 drops red food coloring
1/2 c maraschino cherris, drained, dried on paper towels, and finely chopped
Preheat oven to 325.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in the cubed butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in maraschino cherries and 4 oz of the white chocolate (appx 2/3 c). Stir in extract and red food coloring. Knead mixture with hands until it forms a smooth ball.
Shape dough into 3/4 in balls. Place balls 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in powdered sugar, flatten balls into 1 1/2 inch rounds. Bake for 10-12 minutes until centers of cookies are set. Cool on cookie sheet 1 minute and then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.
In a microwaveable, heat-proof bowl, melt white chocolate on HIGH power for 1 minute, stirring after each 20 seconds until smooth and completely melted. Depending on your microwave, check the melting process carefully as the chocolate can scorch easily. Dip half of each cookie into chocolate and allow excess to drip off. Place on wax paper until chocolate is set.
To store: Layer cookies between waxed paper in airtight container and cover. Store at room temperature up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months.