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Monday, April 30, 2012

Cranberry Sugar Cookies

So, it's been a little while. I have lots of good excuses though! In the past year I've moved three times (once across the country), become a full-time student, and a become an aunt to an unbearably cute 2-month-old who lives only a mile away from me (daughter to Naomi, who had just found out she was pregnant when we made this ravioli).

Excuses aside, it's been way too long. I thought these cookies would be the perfect thing to break the silence. A bit out of season, yes, but the 5-month-old bag of cranberries in the freezer was calling my name. I'm actually cheating a little bit, since this is the exact recipe I used for these lemon cookies, but with added cranberries that I thawed and sent through the food processor.

They actually came out with a totally different texture from the lemon cookies-- more muffin-top like, actually, which was delightful. Oddly, they also turned green in their cooked state, rather than the beautiful pink pictured above. Then again, maybe I'm the only one surprised by that. It occurs to me that I've seen both cranberry and blueberry muffins take on the same color, though the blueberry is less-weird enough that I never put much thought into it. The extra acidity, perhaps? Not sure, since the lemon must have been plenty acidic on its own.

In any case, the recipe:

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
zest of one lemon
1 tbsp juice from lemon
3/4 cups sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole cranberries
extra sugar for rolling cookies

Preheat oven to 350
Sift together the dry ingredients
Zest the lemon and add zest, juice, vanilla, and cranberries
In a separate bowl, beat together butter and sugar until smooth
Beat in cranberry mixture
Beat in egg
Mix in dry ingredients by hand
You could choose to chill the dough like I did for the lemon cookies, but I found that this dough was wetter and nearly impossible to roll into little balls, and the chilling didn't seem to make a noticeable difference; I'd recommend just skipping the step.
Drop the dough by sticky spoonfuls into a small bowl with sugar
Toss around a few at a time to coat, and carefully transfer them to a baking sheet. I found I liked the texture of the cookies best when I pressed them down into more of a fat disk once they were on the pan. They spread into a much nicer final shape.
Cook for 10 minutes, until just barely beginning to brown. Let rest for a minute on the pan before removing them to cool on a rack.

Enjoy! (I sure did!)

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