Recipe courtesy of ciaoitalia.com
Dried cranberries have so many uses, from enjoying them on their own as a snack to sprinkling them on your favorite cereal or yogurt. I add them to my mother's shortbread cookie recipe.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set one aside. Spread the nuts on the other baking sheet and toast for about 5 minutes; watch that they do not burn. Cool, then coarsely chop and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour and salt, and set aside.
3. In a stand mixer or with a hand-held mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very smooth. Add the vanilla and beat for 1 minute. Add the cranberries and nuts, and combine on low speed. Slowly blend in the flour and salt.
4. Gather up the dough and transfer it to a large sheet of wax paper. Pat the dough into a rectangle roughly 4 inches wide and 18 inches long. Use the wax paper to help you roll the dough into a log shape. Neaten the ends and place the wax-paper-wrapped dough in the freezer for 10 minutes.
5. Lower the oven temperature to 325ºF. Remove the wax paper from the log and, using a sharp knife, slice into ¼-inch-thick rounds (or thicker if you prefer). Space the cookies about 1-inch apart on the baking sheets and bake for about 10 minutes. The cookies should not brown but remain pale with just a hint of browning around the edges.
6. Cool on wire racks. Then grab a cup of coffee, tea or cold milk, and enjoy this treat from Mom.
Note: Shortbread cookies can be made ahead and frozen if well wrapped and sealed in tins, plastic containers or plastic bags.