The frenzy of the holidays has left me in a "full throttle" baking mode and yes, I am still going strong. I made these cookies for the first time about two years ago and fortunately remembered them last week and quickly whipped up a batch to sell in the bakery for New Year's. A spin off of my traditional shortbread, I have added an egg yolk to the dough to give the cookie a more delicate, less "snappy" texture. In keeping with my motto, keep plenty on hand, "There can never be too many cookies waiting in your favorite cookie jar". They are my new favorite and will be available in the bakery on a regular basis in case you don't feel like making them yourself (recipe below).
My baking mantra has always been "less is more". There is nothing more beautiful than a 2 1/4- 2 1/2-inch diameter cookie like this Chocolate-Cherry Shortbread, or a proper sized muffin to feed one person, or a perfectly proportioned 8-inch chocolate birthday cake. If you have my recent book, Sarabeth's Bakery, you are already familiar with smaller sized cookies, pies and cakes that have been my signature for many years. The Pecan Moons are just one bite and the Chocolate Marmalade Sandwich Cookies, approximately 1-3/4 inches across the the top, are impossible to share.
CHOCOLATE-CHERRY BUTTER COOKIES
(Makes about 30 cookies)
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (no more than 62% cacao solids), finely choped
2 ounces dried cherries, finely chopped
Sanding sugar, for sprinkling