Monday, December 3, 2012

Cranberry and Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

Ah, December, the month of frantic shopping, Christmas carols, and cookies.  I am really loving this year because: 1) I am finished with my shopping, 2) the boys are coming home soon, 3) cookies abound and you have to eat at least one of every kind that is offered to you (it would be rude if you didn't), 4) the boys are coming home soon, and 5) neighbors have Christmas lights up and on in the mornings and evenings, so pretty.

Every year I have the "cookie a day" recipe emailed to me with the thought I'd make a batch of cookies a day.  I never get to it.  The week is busy, I get tired, the butter sits on the counter never to be creamed into the sugar...well, not never but not every night.  So this year I've stopped printing every cookie recipe and I'm just happy to look and then delete.  I'll make my share of cookies, just I've given myself permission to enjoy the picture, read the recipe and move on.  But today, I'll bake.

I'm home today, it is -35ºF according to Yahoo weather on my phone, the fire is going, and the oven will warm up the kitchen, so cookies it is.  I'm starting with a simple cookie.  A cranberry pistachio slice and bake cookie.  It looks festive with the bits of red cranberries and the green pistachio bits.  It is an easy shortbread type cookie, the rolls store in the freezer nicely, and they are perfect with hot chocolate or mulled wine.

I'll bake a batch today and have three rolls in the freezer for later this month.  Each roll makes about 12 slice and bake cookies.  Perfect!

Cranberry Coins
adapted from Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies, 2010 

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pistachios

Beat butter, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla with a wooden spoon until smooth.  Add flour and salt; stir until combined.  Stir in died cranberries and pistachios.  Divide dough into quarters.

On parchment, shape each portion into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 4 inches long.  Wrap logs tightly in parchment or plastic.  Chill 30 minutes or up to 1 day (dough can be frozen up to 1 month).

Preheat oven to 325ºF.  With a sharp knife, slice dough into 1/4 inch thick rounds.  Rotate log as you cut to keep it from flattening.  Place rounds on parchment-lined baking sheets, 1 inch apart.

Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges just begin to turn golden, 20-22 minutes.  Let cookies cool on sheets on wire racks.  Cookies can be stored, in an airtight container, at room temperature up to 2 weeks.
The baby boy made this in 1996.  I put it out every Christmas.

December 3, 2012   Daylight 4 hours, 28 minutes, 8 seconds   Temp. H -24/L-33 ºF

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