Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cranberry Orange Shortbread

I love shortbread. It's very Christmas-y to me. I like to add a little flavoring to make the shortbread a little more interesting- this year I added dried cranberries, orange zest, and a little orange juice. Shortbread is easy to make and is one of the only cookies that are easier to mix using your hands. So get ready to get buttery! I also cut my shortbread using a very small 1-inch cookie cutter; since it's such a rich cookie, I think it's better in small pieces. Shortbread ages well, so is a great cookie to make ahead.

Cranberry Orange Shortbread

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 teaspooon vanilla extract
2 cups flour, sifted
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
Zest of 1 orange
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed orange juice

1. With a wooden spoon or your hands, mix the butter, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth and well-combined. Stir in the flour and mix with hands until the dough is starting to come together.
2. Add the cranberries, orange zest, and orange juice. Stir together. Form dough into 2 balls, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 325. Line baking sheets with parchment. On lightly floured countertop or sheet of parchment, roll dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes with cooke cutter or slice into squares or bars. Bake for about 20 minutes, until just starting to color. Cool on cookie sheets on wire racks. Store in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.


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