First things first: my recipe for the Tres Leches Cake has been featured on NoshOn.It - "a free daily cooking newsletter that helps bring new ideas to your kitchen." How exciting! NoshOn.It is a pretty cool website with an impressive cadre of contributors. Every time I visit it I linger, following the links to various fascinating food blogs.
And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming. And what we had scheduled are these butter cookies covered with a layer of chocolate and sprinkled with nuts. I got the recipe for the cookie dough from Cook's Illustrated. The cookie is tasty and versatile: for example, it beautifully pairs with one of my favorites, dulce de leche, by sandwiching it between plain cookies.
While it is best to follow the recipe closely when baking the cookies, the topping is more forgiving. You can use any chocolate you fancy, as long as it melts nicely. Severe chocoholics among us can use more chocolate than the recipe calls for. You will be all the happier for it.
I had an assortment of nuts still in their shells sitting in a bowl on the counter top. While beautiful to look at, these nuts had to be eaten eventually. Food intended for purely decorative purposes is sad, I believe, like those fondant roses that look beautiful but taste gross. So that's where these nuts went - onto the cookies! The kids had a blast cracking these babies open with a rock on the back yard, just like I did as kid.
Like with the chocolate, you can use whatever nuts you prefer.
Shortbread Cookies with Dried Cherries, Chocolate and Nuts
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
1 cup dried cherries
9 oz chocolate, chopped, or 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 375F. Line 12X18 inch baking sheet with parchment.
Using electric mixer, mix together flour, sugar and salt. Add butter 1 tablespoon at a time mixing until dough begins to form. Add vanilla and cream cheese, mix well. Mix in dried cherries.
Press dough evenly onto baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 20 min.
In the meantime, melt chocolate in microwave (stop and stir frequently to ensure even melting). Spread chocolate over warm cookie layer. Sprinkle with nuts. Let cool and cut into bars.