Holiday cookies should be extra-special, so I created this beautiful, delicious shortbread with cranberries, orange and holiday spices to both serve and give as gifts. Everyone loves them!—Lisa Speer, Palm Beach, Florida
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- 1 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons orange liqueur
- 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- Gold colored or coarse white sugar, optional
- In a small bowl, toss cranberries with liqueur, orange peel and vanilla. Let stand, covered, 1 hour.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add cranberry mixture; beat just until combined. In another bowl, whisk flour, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves; gradually beat into creamed mixture.
- Divide dough in half. Shape each into a disk; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm enough to roll.
- Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of dough to 1/2-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 2-3/4-in. cookie cutter. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. If desired, sprinkle with colored or coarse sugar. Refrigerate 10 minutes before baking.
- Bake 12-15 minutes or until edges are light brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 2 dozen.
Originally published as Orange-Cranberry Shortbread in Cookies & Candies Bookazine 2014, p20
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