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YIELDS:

30 servings

PREP TIME:

2 hours 10 mins

COOK TIME:

0 hours 13 mins

TOTAL TIME:

2 hours 45 mins

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INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Cup confectioners’ sugar
2 Tsps. Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 Tsp. Pure Almond Extract
1/2 Cup Fresh cranberries, finely chopped
2 1/4 Cups All-purpose flour
1/8 Tsp. Salt
1 Cup White Chocolate, melted
Chopped Pistachios (optional)
Sprinkles (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1) In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and confectioners sugar. Add the vanilla and almond extract and beat until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

2) Gradually, add the flour and salt and mix on low until the ingredients are just combined. Fold in the chopped cranberries.

3) Have two pieces of parchment paper ready. Divide the dough evenly into two pieces. Shape each portion into a log that is approximately 7 inches long by 3 inches in diameter. Wrap each log tightly in the parchment paper and twist the ends. Place the dough in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

4) When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Slice the dough into 1/3 inch slices and place at least an inch apart on the cookie sheets. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until the cookies are firm and are slightly brown at the edges.

5) Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them sit for 5 minutes. Remove the cookies to wire racks and let them cool completely.

6) Melt the white chocolate in the microwave in 10 second intervals until melted. Stir in between each interval until smooth. Let the white chocolate cool slightly. Dip each cookie about a quarter of the way into the chocolate and place back on parchment paper. Immediately sprinkle with chopped pistachios and/or sprinkles if using. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for 10 minutes to set the chocolate. Remove from freezer and serve on a platter or box and gift to friends and family.

NOTES:  My Cranberry and Pistachio Shortbread Cookies with White Chocolate are going to be your new Christmas favorite.  Flecks of red cranberry and chopped green pistachios make them festive for the holiday.  They are great on a holiday buffet or boxed or bagged in cellophane bags with a bow.  They make the perfect gifts for friends, family, coworkers and neighbors.

These are pretty easy to make but you do have to allow for chilling time.  The dough needs to be really cold so they bake up correctly.  So do allow for at least two hours of chill time.  I usually make the dough the night before I’m baking these so I don’t have to worry about it.

Be sure your butter is at room temperature.  This makes creaming the butter and sugar so much easier.  To get started on the recipe, that is exactly what you’ll do.  Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer until smooth, light and fluffy.  Add the two extracts and mix until combined.

Gradually add the flour and salt mixture until everything is combined.  Add in the chopped cranberries and fold until incorporated.  Make sure you chop them very finely.  You can do this by hand, but I throw them into the food processor and let the machine do the work.  This guarantees me tiny, uniform pieces of cranberry.  While you can use frozen cranberries, I prefer fresh.  They are easier to work with in this recipe.  If you do use frozen cranberries, make sure they are completely thawed and then dry them with paper towels to remove any excess water from the ice.  Otherwise, you are adding water to the dough and that is not a good thing.  I’ve also made these cookies with fresh cherries (so great when they are in season).

Once you have your dough ready, divide it in half and but each half on it’s own square of parchment paper.  Form the dough into a log and pat in the ends so you get nice even cookies when you slice them.  Roll up the dough in the parchment paper and twist the ends to seal.  Pop in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

When you are ready to bake these, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Cut each log of cookie dough into about 15 slices (1/3 inch thick).  You should get about 30 cookies.  Place them on the prepared baking sheets and bake for 11 – 13 minutes depending on your oven.  These don’t get brown.  You just want the cookie to be firm and just starting to get a gold hue around the edges.

Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let the cookie cool completely either on the baking sheets or on a rack.

When you are ready to decorate the cookies, chop up your pistachios very fine. (If you are using them.)  I love the red and green for Christmas so I use pistachios.  You could use other nuts or sprinkles if you have kids.  I added some green sprinkles for the neighbors kids and they loved that so much more than the nuts.  Chopped almonds, walnuts, pecans and macadamia nuts would all work on this.

Melt your white chocolate in a bowl in the microwave.  Use 50% power and heat in 10-15 second increments stirring in between each cycle.  White chocolate can burn so watch it.  Once it is all melted and smooth, let it cool slightly.

Dip each cookie about a quarter of the way into the white chocolate and place it back on the baking sheet.  Immediately sprinkle with the chopped pistachios or sprinkles if using.  When you have completely decorated all your cookies, place the baking sheet in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to just set the chocolate and allow it to firm up.

You are now ready to plate and enjoy.  These make great gifts when boxed up with a bow.  If you are putting together your own holiday cookie box, be sure to check out some of my other favorite cookie recipes.

Cherry and Pistachio Biscotti

Spelt and Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Small Batch Almond Joy Cookies

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Sugar-Free Meringue Cookies

Embossed Rolling Pin Shortbread Cookies

Macaroons – Candy or Cookie?