Friday, December 27, 2019

Baking with Blobby

I think deep down we all know I'm not a baker. But I get points for trying - even if I'm the one doling out those points, as well as receiving them.

But, 'tis the season, regardless if I'm trying to stay off sugar. Even I cave to the holiday food cheat week.

I mean, there is nothing overboard, but recently, I've kind of found my way to cranberries. They have never been in my repertoire, in terms of eating, let alone using in making food.

But I saw, yet never eaten, a cranberry-orange cookie. In the back of my pea-brain, I decided I must try these. And what better excuse than a.) the holidays and b.) having guests over. So I could make them and not necessarily be the only person eating these concoctions.

It's not too labour intensive - and the dough doesn't have to rest in the refrig for x amount of time, which is good because I'm all about the 'now'.  Honestly, trying to chop the cranberries - those sticky little buggers - took the longest of anything.

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour (you may need as much as 3 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup dried sweetened cranberries very finely chopped
2 tablespoons orange zest (from about 1 orange)

You see confectioners sugar in my picture as well. I thought I'd augment a little to glaze some of the cookies in an orange / cranberry icing.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer, and beat on medium-low speed until smooth.

Add the egg and vanilla, and continue to beat until incorporated.

Add 3 cups of the flour, the cornstarch, and salt, and stir on low speed until a stiff dough has formed. If the dough still feels sticky, add more flour (1/4 cup at a time) until it pulls away cleanly from the sides of the bowl.

Stir in the dried cranberries and orange zest.  P.S. - always zest OVER the bowl / plate / dish you're putting it into. To do it on the counter, you lose almost all the oils / juices...i.e. flavour.

Between 2 sheets of parchment paper, roll the dough to a thickness of 1/8-inch. The recipe said this would make 50 cookies. I highly doubted it, but it says you should......

.....use a 2 1/2-inch fluted round cookie cutter to cut shapes. I did not use those.

I used stars, stars of David, candy canes, xmas trees and dreidels - all bigger than a 2" fluted whatever.  That said, we got 43 cookies out of it - not bad.

Place the unbaked cookies on the prepared baking sheets, and bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until just beginning to turn golden around the edges.

It's shortbread, so these do not spread, though they puff enough to lose some of the crisper edges of the design.

I did indeed make a glaze with the juice of the zested orange and powdered sugar. It turns out, you really can't get anything from a cranberry to add to that, so it was just an orange glaze, but it worked really really well.

They taste great.   ...and if Mike is reading this, and should I lose any of our upcoming competitions, I'm guessing this will be the cookie you will receive.  Not these actual ones, but you get the idea.


Anonymous said...

If you "borrow" a little flour from the flour the recipe calls for and sprinkle it on the dried cranberries, it's easier to chop them. I've used this trick to make a similar cranberry/nut shortbread cookie. A reader in Philly.

anne marie in philly said...

^that poster is NOT me.

I love the mixed cookie cutters. and the cookies DO look dee-lish, I must admit. blobby CAN bake!