Monday, December 21, 2009

Cranberry Noels

Okay, now we are breaking out the good stuff. Here's a recipe from my dearest sister-in-law, Sarah... She is the queen of Christmas cookies. She makes Christmas cookies to de-stress, and a couple Christmases ago, when she arrived in Denver at mom's, we started baking almost immediately. I have never seen the magnitude of cooking, as she displayed, tripling recipes, while making several different recipes at once...I was in awe. Anyways, these are one of the best ever, called Cranberry Noels. Not sure where the recipe comes from, Martha Stewart or someone like that...Okay, after doing my research, yes, they are on Martha Stewart, and a couple other places. I guess the noel thing is, most of the time, you make them into a "log" and cut cookies off, like the cookie dough you buy in the grocery store...well, as irony would have it, martha had a picture of hers, cut with Christmas cookie cutters. That's how we do it too. On to the recipe, with Sarah's notes: makes 3 dozen, might need to double....;-) Dough can be stored in the fridge for up to a month.

2 sticks butter (unsalted, room temp)
3/4 c sugar
2 Tbsp milk (i used skim, so anything works)
1 tsp pure vanilla
2 1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c dried cranberries
3/4 c shaved coconut (i used sweetened, but i don't think it matters)
1/2 c chopped pecans

In bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add milk, vanilla until just combined.
Put mixer on low and add everything else. Flour, salt, cranberries, pecans, coconut.

Split dough into 2 balls. Dust counter with flour. Roll out a ball at a time. Go for thin cookies.
Cut with cookie cutters. Preheat 375 deg F. Use parchment paper. DO NOT BROWN cookies.
You really have to keep an eye on them, as I didn't- and had several batches browned more than I like. Okay, fine, they are still good, but ideal is just barely starting to brown on the edges. Supposedly 14-16 minutes, although 12 minutes was too long for me. I am saying try 8 minutes, and check every minute after that. Bottom line, keep an eye on them. I will post a picture later. These are the best I have made so far this year!

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