Festive Cranberry Cookies

100_2402If there is one cookie that you MUST make this Christmas, it’s Cranberry Noels.  A buttery shortbread cookie with the perfect amount of cranberries and pecans and a sprinkle of raw sugar make this cookie a crowd favorite.

These are icebox cookies that are easily made ahead, which make your holiday baking even easier this year.  I sprinkle raw sugar on top of each cookie before baking or roll the edges of the cookie in red or green sprinkles, this gives the cookies an added touch of sweetness and crunch.

Cranberry Noel Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cream or milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Raw sugar

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add milk and vanilla and beat until combined. Gradually add the flour, salt, cranberries, and pecans and mix on low until combined.

Divide dough into 2 dough balls and place the dough on plastic wrap.  Shape each ball into an 8-inch log, about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap logs in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. (Or you can freeze the dough until ready to use.)

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using a sharp knife, cut logs into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Sprinkle each cookie with raw sugar.  Bake until edges are golden, 14 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through. Remove from oven, and transfer cookies to a wirerack to cool completely.

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