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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Getting Over the Cookie Slump: Pistachio Cranberry Icebox Cookies

So after the Penny's PB&J cookie disaster, I also tried baking a homemade version of my great grandmother's Lemon Whippersnappers, but they also failed. My husband asked, "Do you think it's the oven?" No, no, I think it's me.

I was desperate to be successful at some cookie since I needed them for my kids' teachers as a Christmas gift, so I looked through a list of my saved cookie recipes and came across this Pistachio Cranberry Icebox Cookie from Epicurious. It looked easy and festive...just what I needed!

They turned out great! The saltiness of the pistachio, the tartness of the dried cranberry, and the sweetness of the turbinado sugar combined to make one tasty cookie. And they were perfect for a little bag of goodies for my kids' teachers. :-) The cookie slump is over...

Pistachio Cranberry Icebox Cookies
adapted slightly from Epicurious
makes about 3 dozen cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbl granulated sugar
1 tsp finely grated fresh orange zest (about one large orange)
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup turbinado sugar (or you could use other colored decorative sugar)

Stir together the flour, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl.

Beat together the butter, granulated sugar, and zest in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing until dough just comes together in clumps. Mix in the pistachios and cranberries. Gather and press dough together, then divide into 2 equal pieces. Using a sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper, form each piece of dough into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until very firm, at least two hours, but up to 3 days.

Put the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Brush egg over the log (but not the ends). Sprinkle the sugar over the egg mixture and press to stick, covering the entire log (except the ends).

Cut each bar crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. (If the dough gets too soft to slice, freeze bars briefly until firm.) Arrange cookies about 1/2 inch apart on the lined baking sheets.

Bake cookies, switching the position of the sheets halfway through baking, until edges are pale golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer cookies from parchment to cooling racks and cool completely.

**The dough can be frozen, wrapped in plastic wrap and then foil for about one month. Thaw the frozen dough in the refrigerator just until the dough can be sliced.

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Lori December 23, 2010 at 8:52 AM  

Yay! So glad you had success. They look great! I love pistachios in cookies, but never think to use them. Such a festive red and green color.

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