Cranberry Almond Cookies
I have said it before and I will say it again. I love cookies. I also happen to love the holiday season–could it be because of my love for cookies?–and I spend most of my time baking cookies. Honestly there is rarely a moment that a plate or jar or dish isn’t filled with cookies in my house; I just overdo it even more during the holidays.
Of course, the best part is getting to play with all sorts of different cookies, not just the crowd-favorite chocolate chip, or the always-fun decorated sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies. This recipe was my endeavor into a new cookie; this recipe has become a new favorite of mine. I not only wanted to play with some new flavors–for me–but I wanted to play with texture as well. The stars of this cookie are definitely the dried cranberries and the chopped almonds, providing a delicious flavor and scrumptious crunchy bite, respectively. Of course, there are two more supporting stars: cinnamon and orange, a combination made in heaven that not only adds to the deliciousness of the cranberry and almond, but adds its own scrumptious layer.
So far I’ve fed these first-time cookies to eight people and so far I’ve gotten eight, “OMG! These are delicious!” I have to agree. I really do enjoy these cookies. I plan to bake many more and I plan to give them to more friends and family during this holiday season. They can be made small, and as I did, square–perfect for stacking, placing in small gift boxes, etc.
This recipe will produce about three dozen cookies.
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond liqueur*
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup ground almonds
*May omit if you do not have this. No point in buying a bottle for 1 teaspoon.
Prep: Finely chop the cranberry. Put the Almonds in a food processor: Pulse a few times until the almonds are roughly chopped, remove 1/4 cup. Process the rest of the almonds until a coarse powder.
Step One: Combine the dry ingredients (flour, corn meal, ground almonds–not the chopped almonds–, baking powder, salt & cinnamon) in a bowl.
Step Two: Cream the butter and eggs.
Step Three: Add the egg, vanilla, almond liqueur & orange zest. Mix until well combined.
Step Four: Add the dry ingredients to the creamed/wet mixture.
Step Five: Add the chopped almonds and the chopped cranberries. Mix in well.
Step Six: Lightly dust a surface with flour. Place the dough on the surface and roll into a log about 1 foot long and 1 1/2″ to 2″ thick.
Step Seven: Wrap the log in parchment paper. If you want circle cookies leave it this shape. If you’d like square cookies, platten the sides to form a rectangular prism.
Step Eight: Refrigerate for at least one hour to harden.
Step Nine: Prehead the Oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Step Ten: Cut 1/4″ thick slices from the cookie log. Arrange the cookies on the baking sheet spaced 1/2″ to 1″ apart.*
*Turn the log 1/4 turn each time to keep the log shaped as a square as you cut. Also try using a serrated knife in a sawing motion to keep the dough from falling.
Step Eleven: Bake one sheet at a time for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cookies are firm to the touch.
Step Twelve: Cool on a wire rack.