Wow--this is the very first time I have committed to writing five (count 'em--five!) blog posts on consecutive days, but isn't holiday food worth it? Not only will you see five days worth of Christmas goodies coming from me, but the sweets will be flowing from eleven other bloggers. Isn't this fun? Now, let's talk about the cookies.....
A few years ago, my friend DeeDee posted one of the prettiest cookies I had ever seen. Full of maraschino cherries, white chocolate, and macadamia nuts, it really stood out as a stellar Christmas cookie. As luck would have it, DeeDee has allowed me to post her recipe to kick off Christmas Week. So, without further ado, let me share with you this spectacular cookie....
Cherry-White Chocolate Chunk Cookies (adapted from DeeDee Pierce)
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ cup chopped macadamia nuts
6 oz good quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 (10 oz) jar maraschino cherries, well drained and chopped
I found a package of macadamia nuts all nicely chopped up for me. If you prefer larger pieces, feel free to chop your own.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F; line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment*, cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and the almond extracts.
Add the flour, half at a time, to the creamed mixture, stirring just until well-incorporated. The dough will be stiff. Stir in the nuts and the white chocolate, then gently stir in the cherries.
Since my jar of cherries was larger than I needed, I measured out one cup.
Drop the cookie dough by rounded tablespoons on to the lined cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until they are firmly set, but not browned. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool completely, before removing from the sheets (if you need to reuse the pan, simply slide off the parchment paper with the cookies, and reline).
*Using a stand mixer is recommended, as the cookie dough is rather stiff.
It's important to cool the cookies on the parchment paper...if you try removing them while they are still warm, they may fall apart. Trust me on this....
There you have it---beautiful cherry cookies! While you can certainly make these year-round (wouldn't that cherry-red color be great for Valentine's day?), I hear that this particular recipe is Santa's favorite. Please leave a few out for the jolly old guy.
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