Sable Shortbread's Cherry Pistachio ShortbreadBy Chatelaine
"Cherries and pistachios make a wonderful Christmas combo in this delightful shortbread cookie. Roasting your pistachios ahead of time and using the best-quality maraschino cherries you can find (we like Tillen Farms Merry Maraschino Cherries) really makes these cookies sing!"—Lorraine Pike, co-owner, Kentville, N.S.
- 1/2 cup salted butter , at room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar , (48 g)
- 2 tbsp icing sugar , (25 g)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup quartered maraschino cherries , (reserve 2 tbsp liquid for buttercream), drained well
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp chopped roasted pistachios , divided
- 1 cup all-purpose flour , (120 g)
- 1/4 cup salted butter , at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups icing sugar , divided (180 g)
- 2 tbsp reserved maraschino cherry , liquid from jar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- red food colouring , (optional)
- red and green coarse sugar , (optional)
- Cookies: Beat 1/2 cup butter in a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium, until fluffy, about 1 min. Beat in granulated
sugar and 2 tbsp icing sugar just until combined.
- Reduce speed to low. Beat in vanilla, and then cherries and 2 tbsp pistachios just until combined. (Don’t overmix.) Beat in flour, scraping down side of bowl, just until dough forms. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface.
- Gather dough into a ball, then shape into a log about 12 in. long. Roll log in remaining ½ cup pistachios, coating well. Wrap log in parchment or waxed paper. Refrigerate until firm enough to slice, at least 2 hr.
- Position rack in centre of oven and preheat to 325F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment.
- Slice chilled log into 24 1/2-in.-thick cookies, arranging 1 in. apart on prepared sheets.
- Bake until cookies start to brown on bottoms and spring back lightly when touched, about 15 min. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool completely, about 15 min.
- Buttercream: Meanwhile, beat 1/4 cup butter, using an electric mixer on medium, until fluffy, about 1 min. Beat in 3/4 cup icing sugar until combined. Reduce speed to low. Beat in cherry liquid and vanilla. If you’d prefer a deeper red colour, beat in a few drops of red food colouring. Beat in remaining icing sugar, ¼ cup at a time, until soft peaks form.
- Scrape buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe a swirl onto each cooled cookie. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let stand overnight until icing is firm. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.