#ChristmasCookies Week ~ Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

Welcome to the very last day of #ChristmasCookies week hosted by Ellen at Family Around the Table where we have been bringing you every imaginable tasty sweet treat to get you ready for the Christmas cookie baking season!

On this final day of delicious sweet treats, I bring you yet one more shortbread cookie recipe. I've had a whole lot of them this past week! I kind of have a love, love relationship with shortbread! Rich, tender, buttery, and not too sweet. And such a beautiful "base" to mix and match flavors and add-ins! I love shortbread! 

Today's cookie is no exception. A lovely hint of almond from the extract, and a complement of light orange flavor with a touch of texture and flavor from dried cranberries. It's a beautiful marriage of textures and flavors. These cookies are delicate, easy to make, and quick to whip up. You can easily store the dough in the refrigerator for a few days, pull out the log of dough, slice, bake and in 15 minutes - you'll have cookies on the table to share! (Carefully, they will definitely still be hot then). :)

Keep the dough for these treats in your refrigerator this holiday season, and have a delicious fresh baked treat anytime you have guests over. These are very easy to nibble on, and perfect with a cup of coffee or tea.

Take one more look at the delicious treats being shared today:

Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies
from Mom on Timeout 

¾ cups sugar
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 cup chilled butter, cubed
½ cup dried cranberries, diced finely
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp dried orange zest
1 TBS orange juice
additional sugar to coat cookies before baking (if desired)

    1. Combine sugar and flour in a mixing bowl. Blend the chilled butter in using a pastry cutter until mixture resembles even, coarse crumbs. 
    2. Add in the dried cranberries, almond extract, orange zest, and orange juice, Use a fork to blend mixture and then work dough by hand until it starts holding and comes together. 
    3. Form dough into a 2-inch diameter log, and wrap in saran wrap. Place in refrigerator at least 2 hours until chilled.
    4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line your baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. 
    5. Slice cookies into 1/4" rounds, dip lightly on both sides in the sugar to coat (if desired) and place, with a little space between each, (they won't spread much during baking) on the prepared baking sheet.
    6. Bake 12-15 minutes each, until just baked through and very lightly browned along the bottom. Be careful not to over bake. 


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