Chocolate Dipped Cherry + Pistachio Shortbread

I love the fusion of dried cherries + pistachios.  The combination of colors, flavors and textures are festive and fun, a perfect compliment to a buttery, chocolate dipped shortbread cookie.  The shortbread bakes in a square baking pan, then is cut into bars, dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with dried cherries and pistachios.  A yummy treat to pair with a mug of hot cocoa, coffee or hot tea.  So pop in your favorite Christmas movie and curl up on the couch with something yummy!  This is my 6th recipe in my first blog series, 12 Days of Cookies.  Enjoy! 🙂

 

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Chocolate Dipped Cherry + Pistachio Shortbread

Adapted from:  Williams-Sonoma Cookies

Yield:  12 cookie bars

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar + 1 TBSP

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (I prefer the Ghirardelli brand)

1/2 cup pistachios, chopped

1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped

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Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Whisk together flour and salt in a bowl, set aside.  With an electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter until fluffy and pale, about 3 minutes.  Add both sugars and mix until combined.  Add vanilla, mix to combine.  Add flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low until combined.  Scrap down bowl with a spatula, mix again for a few seconds.  Transfer mixture to a square 9 X 9 square baking pan, and press dough evenly into pan with floured fingertips.  Sprinkle with a TBSP of granulated sugar.  Bake until edges are golden, about an hour.  Remove the pan from oven and immediately cut shortbread in half lengthwise, then cut into 3 inch X 1 inch strips.  Let strips cool in the pan for 30 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Melt chocolate chips in microwave for one minute, stir, then continue to microwave in 15 second intervals until melted to ensure chocolate doesn’t burn.  Using a spoon, hold shortbread over bowl of melted chocolate and ‘scoop and dump’ spoonfuls of chocolate over shortbread, allowing excess chocolate to drip off.  Place on a wax paper lined baking tray and sprinkle with pistachios and cherries.  Press lightly to ensure they adhere to the chocolate coating.  Allow to dry completely before transferring to an airtight container.

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