I needed a cookie. I didn't just want a cookie....I NEEDED a cookie. I didn't want to spend a lot of time or money on ingredients for this one......because like I said, I NEEDED a cookie. Now.
One of my "go-to" cookie recipes is shortbread. I suspect the woman who invented the recipe for shortbread did it out of the same need as mine and frankly, I think she should win an award for it. After all, it contains the 3 basics of any cookie recipe - flour, butter, sugar. When combined, those three things create one of the most divine tastes we can experience. Simple - and delicious.
In my pantry, I also had some orange-flavored cranberries (from Trader Joes) and one orange. SO I decided to add these to my basic recipe and VOILA! Yummy, Christmas shortbread! (Hereafter called, Orange Cranberry Shortbread).
1/2 C butter, softened
1/2 C powdered sugar
2 tsp orange zest
1 C flour
1/2 C finely chopped dried cranberries
(tip: you can chop these by hand with about a TBL of flour - or you can do this step in a processor)
1. Preheat oven to 325
2. Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and orange zest. Blend until smooth.
3. Add flour and stir by hand - a heavy wooden spoon is best for this. Add cranberries. When the flour is completely mixed into the butter mixture, knead it with your hand about 5-6 times, until smooth.
4. Prepare a sheet pan with either parchment paper, or a silpat mat (if you have a shortbread pan, spray it lightly with vegetable oil spray).
5. Pat the dough into an 8 inch circle (you can also make this into a square to make sticks, but I like the wedge shape from a circle) right on the sheet pan. You can also roll it, if you have the patience..... You can make a fancy edge and flute it, or just leave it plain. It will still taste delicious.
6. Cut the dough into 8 wedges, leaving the circle of dough intact!
7. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Let the shortbread cool in the pan for about 8 minutes, then cut again and loosen the wedges apart. Cool wedges on racks.