Blood orange and sour cherry shortbreads

I wanted to make a really festive and classic shortbread flavor to contrast the misugaru-palm sugar recipe I posted, so I came up with these blood orange and cherry shortbreads to do just that. Unlike the misugaru, which was gluten-free, these are not. There are some key differences in the dough besides gluten, however. Instead of using egg yolks, I’m using blood orange juice, so that I can not only add that flavor into the dough, but also bind it together in a similar fashion of a pie crust. With the cherries in there, I wanted it to almost look like a stain glass window, or like panettone, which is an Italian fruitcake. As we are now in Christmas season, things with dried fruits are all the rage, so I wanted these cookies to be a nod to that. With these cookies, you can expect zesty, sweet, sour, buttery, and tart, all in one bite. They are super addictive, and they are not a bad alternative to your typical chocolate chip.

For the cookies:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup dried cherries
1 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cold and diced
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest and juice from 1 blood orange

In a food processor, blitz together 1/4 cup of flour with the dried cherries until they are finely chopped. In a bowl, mix together your flour, sugar, cherries, baking powder, and salt first, then your butter to form a crumbly dough. Pour into that your blood orange juice and zest and vanilla and mix to form a smoother dough. Place the dough onto a large piece of cling wrap and roll and squeeze the dough into a log that is 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Refrigerate the dough for at least 45 minutes. Cut into 24 even pieces and then bake at 375 degrees F for 12 minutes, rotating halfway through to guarantee even baking.

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