Christmas time is the best excuse to get in the kitchen and bake. Whether it’s a batch of cookies for Santa or dark chocolate truffles for co-workers, everyone loves getting a gift from the oven.
Each year I pour through all of my food magazines, cookbooks, and pins to find my baking inspiration. I am head-over-heels in love with everything King Arthur Flour has out there. Their Baker’s Companion Cookbook has never failed me so that was my first stop on my Christmas cookie quest. I found a basic shortbread recipe and decided that would be a perfect base to create a wintery, Christmas-y cookie.
So here they are. My little ruby gems drizzled with snowy, white chocolate and topped with crushed almonds. The cranberry, white chocolate and almond combo was perfect inside the sweet, melt-in -your-mouth shortbread. The shortbread recipe comes together in less than 10 minutes, and they slice and bake style cookies so getting them in the oven is a breeze. They look so pretty with the red cranberries and white chocolate chips studded throughout.
They are definitely a keeper, and I promise Santa will leave you probably 100 more presents under the tree if you bake these for him!
- 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at cool room temperature
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose Flour
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 3 cups of white chocolate chips
- 1/4 crushed almonds
- In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract. Gradually add in the flour. The mixture may seem a little dry at first; keep beating till it comes together. If it absolutely won't come together, dribble in up to 1 tablespoon of water, until it does. This is a stiff dough.
- Add in the white chocolate chips, cranberries, and 1/2 cup of almonds and stir in until well incorporated. Divide the dough into 2-3 sections. It doesn't matter if they're uneven. Roll the dough into a log shape, about 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter. Cover each log with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Slice the cookies about 1/4 to 1/2 inch think and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until the edges begin to brown, about 22-25 minutes. The time will vary depending on your oven and how brown you like your cookies.
- For the embellishment, in a blender or food processor, pulse 1/2 cup of the almonds until course in texture and set aside. Melt 3 cups of white chocolate chips over a double boiler until chocolate is smooth and melted. Keep the bowl over the hot water to keep the chocolate smooth and melted. Dip and spread the white chocolate onto half of the cookie. White chocolate tends to thicken up quickly, so it may be more like icing a cookie than dipping a cookie. Place each cookie on a piece of parchment paper to dry. Sprinkle with the crushed almonds and lightly press in. Let the cookies set for about 20-30 minutes.
- Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for about 3-4 days.