Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies
· ½ cup dried baking chopped cranberries
· ¾ cups sugar, divided
· 2½ cups all-purpose flour
· 1 cup butter, cubed (and cold)
· 1 tsp almond extract
· zest of 1 orange
· 1 to 2 tbsp. of fresh orange juice
· additional sugar to coat cookies before baking if desired
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Combine cranberries and ¼ cup of sugar. Set aside.
3. Combine flour and remaining sugar in a large bowl.
4. Use a pastry cutter to cut in butter. You want very fine crumbs.
5. Stir in extract, cranberries and sugar mixture, orange zest and orange juice.
6. Use your hands to knead the dough until it comes together and forms a ball. Work the dough until it comes together.
7. Shape dough into a log about two inches in a diameter and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for two hours or up to 72 hours.
8. Preheat oven to 325F.
9. Cut slices of cookie dough about ¼ inch thick.
10. Place about a half a cup of sugar in a bowl and coat the cookie slices with sugar.
11. Place cookies on baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes or just until cookies are set.
Do not over bake.
12. Let cookies cool for several minutes on baking sheet before removing to cooling rack. Let cool completely.
13. Store in airtight container for 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Makes 2 ½ dozen cookies.