I know, I know…you probably don’t want to look another cookie in the mouth for at least another little while. Maybe you’ve been spending your mornings gobbling crispy candy cane bark and stuffing your cheeks with spicy-sweet pretzels & nuts (I don’t judge). But consider this cookie recipe for a time when you want something buttery and festive.
The thing is, New Years celebrations are coming up soon and these cookies would be perfect on the table. They aren’t very sweet – but you could sprinkle them with powdered sugar after baking if you prefer. I like them as is. They’re great with a cup of tea and make a lovely after-dinner treat. Studded with orange zest and rum-infused cranberries, these shortbread look pretty to boot.
These were the only cookies I made this holiday season, but they were worth it. The original recipe didn’t include orange zest (shame!) and the directions were to roll out the cookie dough and cut out with cookie cutters. Too much work for my busy schedule. So I decided to instead roll them into 2 logs and go the slice & bake route which makes them the perfect thing to slice into when you’ve got unexpected guests. Or maybe you just want to slice off a couple cookies for tea time. Like I said before, no judging. Enjoy.
cranberry rum shortbread cookies
(adapted from a 1980s recipe in the Vancouver Sun newspaper)
1 c dried cranberries
1/2 c rum
1 c butter, softened
1 T orange zest
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/2 c icing (powdered) sugar
2 c all purpose flour
1/4 t salt
1/4 t baking powder
In a small saucepan, bring cranberries and rum to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand for 30 minutes until the rum is absorbed into the cranberries. Set aside to cool.
Cream butter, zest, vanilla and sugar together. In another bowl, mix flour, salt and baking powder – add gradually to the creamed mixture. Add the dried cranberries, stirring until just combined. Shape dough into 2 rolls, about 1 1/2″ each in diameter. Wrap tightly in parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375F. Slice each log into cookies about 1/4″ thick and place on a prepared cookie sheet (I always line mine with silpat or ungreased parchment). Cookies don’t spread very much, so you can bake more at once if you like. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden. Cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with icing (powdered) sugar if desired.