When I sat down to dream up a list of people I’d love to invite to a real or virtual cookie swap, I couldn’t think of a better person to ask than Anne at From My Sweet Heart. I don’t think she realizes how often her kind comments have touched my heart – so often on days when I needed it most. I was thrilled when she said yes, and see, she didn’t come empty handed!
I was so thrilled when Jen asked me to participate in her Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies! She is one of the first people I “met” when I first started blogging. I am in awe of her culinary abilities and her outstanding photography! Her blog is such a fun place to visit, that when she asked me to participate, I felt like I had been invited to one of the best Christmas parties online!
I love cookies, but I actually only really bake (and eat!) them around Christmastime. And because of that, I really don’t have a Christmas cookie tradition. This means, that every year I try a few new recipes. This year’s recipe most definitely will grace my holiday table again. And I hope it will grace yours as well. You may adapt it to use other dried fruits. But I thought the color was just perfect for Christmas!
Thank you so much, Jen, for inviting me! And I wish you and your readers a very happy and healthy and DELICIOUS holiday season!
Cranberry Cherry Ribbons
Yield: 3 dozen cookies
Cranberry Cherry Filling:
5 oz. dried sweetened cranberries
½ cup cherry jam or preserves
1 ½ Tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup sugar
11 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
For the filling: Place the cranberries, jam and sugar in a food processor and process until it is coarsely pureed. Transfer to a small saucepan and heat over medium-high, stirring occasionally. When the mix just comes to a boil, remove from heat and let cool. Stir in almond extract and cover and refrigerate for 1 hr. and is well chilled. This can be made up to 4 days in advance.
For the Dough: Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. With an electric mixer on medium, cream sugar and butter until smooth and well blended. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extracts and beat till well blended. Add the flour mixture and beat until well incorporated.
Line a 4 ½ by 8 ½ inch bread pan with tin foil, leaving about a 3 inch overhang over the long sides of the pan. On top of the foil, repeat this procedure using 2 long pieces of plastic wrap.
Divide the dough into quarters. Gently roll one quarter of the dough into a shape that will roughly fit the bottom of the bread pan. Place the dough into the pan and pat it to spread as evenly as possible. Smooth 1/3 of the filling over the top of the dough. It will be stiff, but an offset spatula works best to push the jam evenly over the dough. Repeat the process in the same way with the remaining dough and jam. Wrap the plastic wrap over the top of the dough and place the pan in the freezer for at least 1 ½ hours or longer.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line your baking sheets with parchment or spray your pans with nonstick spray. Remove the dough from the pan using the tin foil ‘handles’. Remove the plastic wrap. Cut the loaf crosswise into thirds. Trim and cut the sides as necessary to make sure the blocks of dough are straight and not flared. Work with one block at a time, keeping the others in the fridge, and cut each third into ¼ inch thick slices. Wipe your knife clean between cuts if necessary. Place each slice on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time, in the upper third of your oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until just slightly brown at the edges. Immediately transfer to wire racks to cool.
Store in an airtight container for up to a week or freeze for up to a month. Enjoy!
Aren’t they gorgeous? I hope you’ll please take a moment to go and visit Anne over at her blog, so appropriately name From My Sweet Heart.
Don’t forget there’s still time to enter to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card!