05 December 2008

maraschino cherry squares *

my dad is a huge cherry fan! in fact, the only candy that I can ever remember my mom buying at christmas time are the cherry cordials that she would put in his stocking every year. so when I saw this recipe in paula dean’s christmas magazine, I knew that I had to make them in honor of my dad. they are really good and another slice and bake cookie that I love for this time of year.
1 cup all-vegetable shortening
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons half-and-half
1/2 cup drained and minced maraschino cherries
1/2 cup minced candied cherries
red sanding sugar (optional)

  1. in a medium bowl, beat shortening, sugar, and salt at high speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. stir in extracts.
  2. gradually add flour, beating at low speed until mixture is combined. add half-and-half, maraschino cherries, and candied cherries; beating until combined.
  3. shape dough into a 2x15 inch log on a sheet of parchment paper. sprinkle red sugar on parchment paper and wrap. refrigerate for 2 hours.
  4. preheat oven to 350f. line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. slice dough into 1/4 inch thick cookies. roll edges of cookies in red sanding sugar, if desired. bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. cool on pans for 5 minutes. remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. store in an airtight container for up to 1 week. makes 5 dozen.

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