If you are visiting me for the first time, I like to bake(ya think?). And each holiday season, I bake all of our(and the recipients) favorites. Along with our list of holiday “go-to” recipes, I always feel compelled to try something new. Some flops, but mostly, successes’.
This year I picked a few to try but only got around to making one. I was reading an article on the Epicurious website and loved the idea of the editors’ Christmas Cookie Swap. I love cookie swaps! I love them so much that I want to do some in the coming year geared toward charity and giving back.
All of the cookies looked scrumptious, but visually, one in particular caught my eye. I am not a big fan of candied cherries, but I do love a good shortbread. Besides, they were pretty. And pretty always wins.
These were a hard sell with my family. But that was not the case with those that ate them. They got the thumbs up! Along with these I made some of my families favorites.
Holiday Shortbread Cookies
3/4 cup (6 ounces) flaked sweetened coconut
2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 tsp. pure rum extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 ounces red candied cherries, coarsely chopped
3 ounces green candied cherries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (4 oz.) coarsely chopped pecans
• cream the butter and sugar in the work bowl of your standing mixer. beat 2 minutes on medium speed.
• add the milk and the rum
• with the mixer on low speed, add the flour.
• add the cherries and the pecans, mix just until incorporated. be careful to not over mix.
• if you have a kitchen scale, weigh the dough. then divide, evenly, into four equal balls.
• roll each ball into a log and roll in coconut flakes.
• transfer each log onto a sheet of parchment paper and chill for at least an hour or up to 24 hours.
• preheat oven to 375*.
• slice logs into 1/4″ thick cookies and place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with either a silpat or a piece of parchment paper. Bake 10-12 minutes, rotating sheets top to back and back to front midway through the baking(keep an eye on the cookies the last two minutes as the coconut may begin to burn).
• let cook before removing them from the cookie sheet.
• these cookies can be made weeks in advance. either freeze the cookie dough log(parchment logs placed in a freezer bag can stay frozen for 3 weeks) or freeze completely baked cookies for up to two weeks.
The Urban Baker / SusanSalzman.com