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I love cranberries. Which is a good thing — I happen to live in New Jersey, one of our nation’s biggest cranberry-producing states. Since now is a peak time for harvesting cranberries, it’s perfect that my Taste Creations Blog Hop friends and I are getting together today to share our cranberry recipes.
Another food love of mine is shortbread. Surprisingly, I’ve never made shortbread until recently. I was under the mistaken impression that baking shortbread is difficult. Was I wrong! Shortbread is one of the simplest things to bake — basic shortbread only requires 4 ingredients. When you add delicious cranberries to the mix, you only need 5 ingredients!
I think shortbread might become my go-to cookie recipe. My daughters never understood why I like shortbread so much — until they ate my shortbread last week. (Until last week, they’ve only had store-bought shortbread. Store-bought tastes nothing like the real thing, which is buttery, crumbly, and absolutely delicious!)
I used a recipe from the New York Times and altered it a bit — my first batch came out a little more browned than I like, so I lowered the baking temperature 25 degrees in my recipe. (The temperature that works for you might depend on your oven — I’d keep a watchful eye on your shortbread the first time you bake it.)
Cranberry Shortbread Recipe
Yield: 24 cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cups granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
2 sticks/1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/3 cup dried cranberries
Heat oven to 300 degrees. Pulse flour, sugar and salt together in a food processor. Add butter and pulse the mixture to fine crumbs. (If you don’t have a food processor, mix the dough in a bowl with a pastry cutter or two knives.) Gently mix in cranberries with a spatula.
Press dough into an even layer into an ungreased square baking pan or a shortbread pan. Using a fork, prick dough all over. Bake the cookies until golden brown. (I baked the cookies for 30 minutes in my approximately 11-inch by 16-inch shortbread pan.)
Release the cookies from the pan. (I did so by carefully placing the cookie pan on a cutting board and lightly tapping the bottom of the pan.)
Transfer cookies to a wire baking rack to cool. (If you used a baking pan, cut the shortbread into squares, bars or wedges while it’s still warm.)
I was pleasantly surprised with how easy and fun it was to bake these cranberry shortbread cookies. I especially loved baking the cookies in my new square baking pan to get the pretty designs in the shortbread.
Check out my blogging friends’ delicious cranberry recipes below!