Because it's December. And because I bought a mega bag of dried cranberries at Costco. And because I drew Nonnie in my family's Secret Santa drawing and I happen to know that she likes shortbread cookies. Grandpa does too, so I sent extra.
And they gave the recipe a big thumbs up! Actually, I got an angry email that Grandpa was eating all the cookies and poor Nonnie wasn't getting her fair share, but they've been married for 55 years so I'm sure they can problem solve this issue on their own.
I used the same basic shortbread cookie recipe that I did on Valentine's Day but I added in the dried cranberries and drizzled chocolate on top to make it festive and sweet. They are definitely good for holiday gifts or just to eat all by yourself. You grinch!
Cranberry Shortbread Cookies (adapted from Joy of Baking):
2 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/2 cup powdered sugar 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/2 cup dried cranberries 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Whisk the flour with the salt in a bowl and set it aside.
In an electric mixer (or you can use a hand mixer) cream the butter for about 5 minutes until it is light and fluffy. Add in the sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. Next, slowly add in the flour. It is a very thick dough and you will have to scrape the bowl a couple of times to make sure that all the flour is incorporated. Then fold in the cranberries until it is just combined.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge for at least an hour. Then roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is a consistent thickness (about 1/4 inch). Using a cookie cutter (or if you just want squares you could use a pizza cutter) cut out the shapes and place them on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper.
Bake the cookies at 350° until they are slightly golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Let the cookies cool completely.
Melt the chocolate chips - I put them in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave them for 30 second incriments stirring between each one until they are completely melted. Put the melted chips into a plastic sandwich bag and cut off the corner. Drizzle the chocolate over the cookies.