PERFECT Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

Recipe by Charlene V. Martoni, inspired by a recipe from Mom on Time Out

Aunt Dot (my boyfriend’s aunt) hosts a cookie exchange party for the holidays, and I look forward to it each year. However, December is always a busy month for me, with school, family gatherings, and work. These sweet but tangy cookies are perfect because they are easy to make; you just slice them up when you want them!

Cranberry Orange Cookies


YIELD: 
~2 dozen cookies

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), very cold and cubed
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (or vanilla extract if you don’t like the almond flavor)
1 heaping tablespoon orange zest (I use Penzey’s dehydrated peel and rehydrate it with a tablespoon of water.)
1 cup craisins

CALORIES: Who wants to count calories when it comes to holiday cookies? A little sugar every now and then is a good thing. Treat yourself! 🙂

METHOD:
1) Combine flour and sugar in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment.
2) Add the butter and pulse until everything looks fluffy and a little lumpy.
3) Add the extract and zest and pulse to incorporate.
4) Once the dough starts to form, add the craisins and pulse lightly. (You don’t want to cut up the craisins too small.)
5) Dump the mixture onto a clean surface and work it into a ball, dropping the ball gently to remove any air pockets. (Think back to elementary school art class when you made ceramics.)
6) Cut the ball in two and roll each half into a log about 1.25 inches in diameter.
7) Cover logs with plastic wrap or parchment paper and let chill in the refrigerator (NOT freezer) for 2 hours.
8) Move your oven racks to the top of your oven and preheat it to 325 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
9) Slice the logs into cookies that are about 1/4 inch thick and bake at 325 degrees for 15-18 minutes until the edges start to turn golden. Make sure not to undercook them.
*If you do not have a food processor, you can easily make this recipe by hand. Just use a pastry blender to cut in the butter, and give the craisins a rough chop before you add them in.
**If you want to go for a christmas theme, roll the logs in green sugar before you slice them.

STORAGE: I keep my cookies in a zip lock bag in my kitchen, but you can freeze them in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.

Enjoy these cookies with a warm cup of herbal tea. Delish!

 

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