With a Cherry On Top

Brown Sugar Shortbread

I promised you the shortbread recipe yesterday and then completely forgot about it! Oops! Luckily for you I'm wide awake at 530 this morning so have plenty of time to fit it in before I have to deal with the day.

I can hardly believe this is the 3rd last Friday before Christmas! Is anyone else feeling that slight December panic setting in? LOL It feels strange, because I've done it for the last 10+ years, but I am glad my sister is hosting Christmas dinner this year. One giant stress I don't have to deal with. I love hosting, I gladly took over from my Mom when she was ready to hand it over, but I'm happy to hand over the reins this year, means I can focus on cookies and snacks and let my sister and her hubby deal with the bird. They plan on smoking the bird so I am definitely excited for that! I know I'll help out Christmas Day - wouldn't know what to do with myself if I didn't - but I like not having to think about it until then.

As with pretty much all my Christmas recipes, I have absolutely no idea where the original came from, I just know I've been baking these (or watching my mom bake them) for as long as I can remember. While chocolate confetti is my daughter's favourite, these are one of mine! They aren't crunchy like a traditional shortbread, but they are buttery and slightly sweet. And the maraschino cherry on top is the perfect spot of colour. I always, always, make sure I use red and green cherries to keep that Christmas vibe but it doesn't matter - use what you prefer, or have on hand.

Christmas Shortbread

1 C unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 C brown sugar, lightly packed
1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp vanilla
2 C all-purpose flour
pinch of kosher salt
Glacé cherries, mix of red and green, quartered

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the yolk and vanilla. Beat until combined. Gradually add in the flour and salt. Beat until it comes together (starts out looking crumbly but then comes together).

Scoop out small amounts of dough* and roll between your hands to form a small ball (about the size of a Lindt chocolate ball). Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Press the top gently with a floured fork and press a cherry piece on top.

Bake at 350F for 8 mins. The cookies will look slightly puffed and shiny. They will look underdone but I promise they are not! Carefully slide the parchment paper onto a rack and allow to fully cool (they will be very fragile to start but will firm up). Store in the fridge, allow to warm up/soften up before serving.

*I use a 1 1/2 tsp ice cream scoop and then roll the balls to make them good and round.

Brown Sugar Shortbread