Almond-Cherry Shortbread "Stacks"
- Active Time 46m
- For Shortbread:
- 1 1/4 cups slivered almonds (about 3 1/2 ounces), toasted
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup dried Bing cherries
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- For Compote and Sandwiches:
- 1 pound fresh dark cherries (such as Bing), halved, pitted
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened black cherry juice
- 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar, divided
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
10 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
Additional fresh dark cherries, optional
FOR SHORTBREAD: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Blend the almonds, flour and sugar in a food processor until the almonds are finely ground. Add the butter, dried cherries, vanilla and salt. Pulse until the dough begins to clump together. Pat the dough into a 12-inch-diameter pizza pan. Bake until the shortbread is just golden on top, about 15 minutes. Remove the shortbread from pan, cut into 12 wedges. Transfer the shortbread wedges to a cooling rack; cool completely.
DO-AHEAD TIP: Shortbread wedges can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
FOR COMPOTE: Combine the cherries, juice and 1/3 cup sugar in heavy medium saucepan. Scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean; add the bean. Bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer 3/4 cup cherries to small bowl. Continue cooking the compote until the juices thicken, about 15 minutes longer. Transfer the compote to a large bowl to cool; discard the vanilla bean. Coarsely chop the reserved cherries; set aside.
FOR SANDWICHES: Beat the cream cheese with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Fold in the reserved chopped cherries. Spread 1/4 cup cream cheese mixture over the bottom of 1 shortbread wedge. Top with another shortbread wedge; press gently to adhere. Repeat with the remaining shortbread and cream cheese mixture. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.
DO-AHEAD TIP: Sandwiches can be made up to 2 hours ahead. Keep refrigerated.
Place 1 sandwich on each plate. Spoon the compote alongside. Garnish with fresh cherries, if desired, and serve.
Recipe created exclusively for Cooking.com by Lane Crowther.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Publisher. All rights reserved.
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