Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 4: 12 Days of Cookies Countdown

It's the final countdown! Can ya hear the music when you say that phrase? I can and it rocks! It makes me get excited about, well, about whatever comes at the end of the countdown. At the end of this countdown is....um, well, Christmas of course!

Day 4 graces us with Cranberry Swirl Cookies. This cookie recipe is a new one for me. I did it because I have had a bag of cranberries in the refrigerator since Thanksgiving. I never used them and I have been waiting for a recipe to use them in. I must confess, this was the first time I have ever cooked fresh cranberries. I really like their tart and slightly sweet flavor.

~Cranberry Swirl Cookies~
**Takes 2 days to make**
1/2 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
1 lg. egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 c. cranberries
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. water, divided
1 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. cinnamon
zest from 1 orange

In a small bowl combine the flour, salt, and cinnamon. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, beat well to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in 1/2 the dry ingredients, mix well. Add in the other half and mix until fully incorporated. Divide the dough in half and form each half into a ball, wrap in plastic. Chill for at least one hour.
To make the cranberry filling, place the cranberries, sugar, and 1/4 c. of water in a med. sauce pan over med. high heat. Cook until the berries pop, stirring frequently. Continue to cook, reducing the temp. to med. Add in the orange zest at this point. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and remaining 1/4 c. water. Add cornstarch mix to the cranberries. Heat and stir until thickened, this step happens very quickly so keep an eye on it. Add the cinnamon and stir until incorporated. Remove from heat and transfer the filling to a med. bowl. Let cool for 15-20 min at room temp. Once cooled, cover with plastic and chill completely.
When both the dough and filling have properly cooled and set up, you can construct your cookies. Remove one of the dough balls and the filling from the fridge. On a lightly floured* surface, roll out the dough into a large rectangle. Spread half of the filling over the dough, keeping it with 1/2 in. from the edge. Carefully begin rolling the dough from one end to the other. Pinch and seal off the ends. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then foil. Repeat with the other dough ball and the rest of the filling. Store in the freezer overnight. These can also be frozen for several months.
Once you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Take one log out of the fridge and slice into 1/3 in. slices. Place 1 in. apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 12-15 min. or until the edges just start turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 min. on the sheet, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. 

Note: I used powdered sugar...keeps things tasty! ;-)

These cookies were okay. The dough was a little tricky to roll out. It kept ripping and pulling apart around the edges as I rolled it. Maybe it needs some more liquid? The cookie as a whole was okay. Not the greatest use of the cranberries in my opinion, but their flavor worked well with the cinnamon flavor in the dough. It might be a texture thing, with the crispness of the cookie part and the softness of the filling. There was something that was missing, or lacking, just not sure what yet!

In other news: I have an announcement! I just found out what one of my Christmas presents is! It's a digital SLR camera!! Ahhhh!! I am SPEECHLESS....my Hubby rocks, I love him so very, very much. Its a Canon Rebel 2Ti, yup pretty basic, but thats where I am at right now...but I have strong hopes for the future!

Happy Holidays!


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