These almond-cranberry shortbread cookies remind us of the holidays. Perfect recipe for potlucks, cookies swap parties and any holiday event.
The cool weather is settling in slowly but surely in Minnesota. So far, we had a long fall, but as we are approaching the holidays, the snow and the wind chill are taking over the Twin Cities.
It feels good to bake when it snows and cookies are always perfect with some hot tea or my favorite Turkish coffee. Also, the holidays are the perfect time to reach out to friends and family. With cookies.
I’m always a fan of doing that with food and make edible gifts to friends and family.
Shortbread cookies are considered Christmas cookies, at least in the US. In other parts of the world, these cookies are enjoyed all year round.
These shortbread cookies are not regular shortbread cookies, the orange hint from the orange zest and the chewy and crunchy texture from cranberries and almonds makes them festive and perfect for this time of year.
How to make these almond-cranberry shortbread cookies
I made these cookies in a stand mixer, but the dough can also be made in a food processor. The recipe is simple and the cookies can be put together in no time.
Handle the dough as little as possible to ensure the characteristic texture of the shortbread cookies.
Also, make sure you do not over bake these cookies. They have to be baked just until the edges start to turn golden. I usually pull them out of the oven after 12-13 minutes.
What kind of ingredients go into this recipe?
- Powder sugar
- Unsalted butter at room temperature- please use butter for this recipe and not margarine.(Is there anybody out there who still bakes with margarine?)
- salt- you will need just a pinch of salt that is very important to enhance the flavors of this recipe
- almond extract- it works perfectly in this recipe. If you do not have almond extract, vanilla is acceptable, but really, go and get some almond extract from the grocery store.
- all purpose flour
- orange zest- the almond flavor together with the orange zest and the cranberries are a perfect combination made in heaven
- dried cranberries- any dried cranberries brand will work. If you cannot find cranberries, try some dried cherries or even raisins. I am not a fan of the raisins in this recipe, but if you are in the middle of nowhere and cranberries are not an option, use whatever you have available.
- toasted almond slivers
The balance between the almond flavor and the rest of these beautiful ingredients, make these cookies the perfect treat for Christmas.
Easy to make and beautiful. Happy Holidays!
Note: Dough will keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- 1 cup powder sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped or tart cherries
- 2/3 cup sliced almonds toasted
- Preheat the oven to 325F.
- Using a standing mixer, mix the butter, powder sugar, almond extract and salt until smooth, around 3 minutes.
- Turn mixer on low speed and gradually add flour and orange zest.
- A dough will form.
- Stir in the cranberries and almonds with a spatula.
- Form dough into a ball, then form a log shape, about 2 inches diameter.
- Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and slice into 1/4-inch thick slices.
- Place cookies on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, about 1 inch apart.
- Bake between 12-15 minutes, just until the edges start to turn golden.
- Let cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before removing them and place them on a cooling rack.
- Tip: The dough can be kept frozen for up to 3 months.
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Amount Per Serving:Calories: 111 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 14mg Sodium: 33mg Carbohydrates: 13g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 7g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 1g