Soft, buttery almond shortbread cookies loaded with sweet cranberries and dipped in white chocolate.
Thank for joining me for my cookie week extravaganza! This time of year, I spend hours and hours baking cookies for holiday gifts. I like sending them to clients and giving baskets to my friends and coworkers, but this year I have a lot more people to gift them to than usual. I love giving homemade gifts because one great reason for baking is to make others happy.
This year my cookie baskets are pretty diverse. I always include my Perfect Snickerdoodles and some homemade sugar cookies. There are a few new cookies making an appearance this year, including these Cranberry Almond Shortbread Cookies.
Can you believe I’ve never made shortbread cookies before? Me either! I was combing through the cookie recipes on BHG.com, saw these pistachio vanilla bean cookies and thought they sounded amazing, but I didn’t have any pistachios in my cupboards. So I searched through all the baggies in my pantry and picked out some sweetened cranberries and almond extract.
Since these cookies are sliced, it’s important to slice the cranberries nice and small. I used a knife, but you might consider throwing them in a food processor and coating them with a little sugar. It’s a tip I saw for making cranberry orange shortbread cookies.
I followed the recipe for the pistachio vanilla bean cookies, but substituted the ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract for 1 teaspoon almond extract. While I happen to have a vanilla bean in the cupboard, I don’t think it made a huge difference in the taste of the cookies since these are almond flavored. So next time, I would just omit the vanilla bean for this recipe. I am sure it was amazing in the pistachio recipe. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly.
I thought I made a mistake because the dough was very crumbly at first, almost like pie crust when you cut in the butter, but then I did some research and found that it was very common for shortbread to be that way. So I did what was suggested and used my hands to sort of knead the dough together. Then I divided it in half and rolled the logs out. These cookies do need to have the dough refrigerated for about 2 hours so plan accordingly
This recipe will be one that I come back to time and time again, whether it’s a holiday or not!
Maggie Glisan, Senior Food Editor, shares her secrets to perfect homemade pasta. Learn more pasta-making tips in the January 2017 issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine.
Few things are more satisfying than making fresh pasta on hand. And that was just what I learned this past summer. And the best part? I learned it in Italy.
For a week in June I called Casa Buitoni—the heart and soul of the Buitoni pasta company—home. Nestled in the hills of Tuscany, the grand mansion (once home to the founding family) is now a state-of-the-art test kitchen and pilot plant. It was there I discovered the simple joy that comes from turning flour and eggs into light, supple strands of fresh dough.
And it really is as simple as that. Flour and eggs. And once you get a feel for making the dough, measuring is hardly necessary. Two large handfuls of all-purpose flour, two small handfuls semolina flour, and two eggs. Mix the flours together on a board, pat into a mound, make a well in the center, and crack in the eggs. From here all you need is a fork to beat the eggs and slowly incorporate the flour and the egg.
As Sarah Fioroni, owner and chef of Fattoria Poggio Alloro shared during a day trip to her picturesque organic farm and winery in San Gimignano: “First you make the volcano, and then you protect the volcano.” A light hand keeps the eggs from overflowing—or letting your volcano “erupt.” But what I love so much about making pasta by hand is that you can hardly screw it up. If your eggs do go overboard, add a little more flour and build the side of your well back up. As you incorporate more flour the dough starts to thicken and after some needing you have a smooth, elastic ball of dough. Yes, rolling takes some time, but what better way to warm up the kitchen on a chilly January Sunday?
Once rolled into a translucent sheet, the shaping possibilities are endless. Cut into large, medium, or thin strands and you have pappardelle, fettucine, and linguine. Make small rectangles, pinch the centers and voila: farfalle (bowtie). And then there are the stuffed pastas. Two small squares of dough can encapsulate all sorts of goodness. Veggies, cheese, meat—the possibilities are endless. My favorite as of late is a mixture of ricotta, Parmesan, herbs and a little bit of lemon zest. Yum!
For nights when I’m rushed, but still want the comfort of fresh, a quick swing by the store’s refrigerator section for cheese or veggie-stuffed ravioli or tortellini gets me that much closer to dinner, and once cooked, all it needs is a big glug of olive oil, a sprinkle of cheese, and some herbs. Done and done! But if you have yet to try your hand at making fresh pasta, add it to your winter weekend bucket list. The mixing, the rolling, the needing—it’s almost therapeutic. Once you do, you just might find yourself making it every Sunday.
The holidays are here! And that can only mean one thing: cookies! With so many cookies to choose from (chocolate chip, thumbprints, snickerdoodles, shortbread, etc.), it can be quite overwhelming and a bit difficult deciding which ones to bake. Why make a bunch of different cookies when you can make one that will satisfy all your cravings? This holiday cookie combines all my favorite cookie mix-ins into one awesome, magical and delicious treat. I introduce you to cranberry pistachio holiday cookies.
When I stumbled upon this Jumbo Pistachio and Milk Chocolate Chunk Cookie recipe, I knew it would make the perfect cookie base. Why limit myself to simply pistachios and milk chocolate? I swapped out the milk chocolate and added white chocolate chips and dark chocolate chunks. I used chopped salted pistachios and dried cranberries to round it all out.
This cookie has it all: a little saltiness from the pistachios, slightly tart cranberries, sweet white chocolate, and rich dark chocolate. And of course, the buttery vanilla cookie dough base that holds it all together.
I used a very large cookie scoop (about 1/4 cup) to portion out the dough. This size also allows each cookie to have an ample amount of toppings. Because the recipe uses melted butter, you’ll need to rest the mixed dough in the fridge for at least an hour (overnight is best!). The dough needs time to firm up before baking.
You can easily make a double or triple batch of these cookies and freeze them for later. Pop them in the oven before guests come over and fill your home with the sweet intoxicating aroma of fresh baked cookies. Perhaps you can leave a couple out for Santa or your family’s Elf on the Shelf. Or better yet, enjoy a few of these cookies while you wrap presents, listen to Christmas music, or watch your favorite holiday movies!
This is the link to the ORIGINAL Jumbo Pistachio and Milk Chocolate Chunk Cookies.
HERE ARE THE CHANGES I MADE TO THE ORIGINAL RECIPE:
- Omit 12 oz milk chocolate and 1 1/2 cups pistachio nuts
- Instead, add 1/2 cup of each: dried cranberries, white chocolate chips, chopped dark chocolate (or semi-sweet chocolate chips), and chopped pistachios.
Superfood matcha is a powdered green tea known help your metabolism, memory, concentration, and overall health. Try one of these recipes to get your fill of the many health benefits that matcha tea has to offer.
Matcha cookies are something you didn’t know you needed in your life. Yammie’s Noshery pieced together a traditional sugar cookie recipe with matcha powder to make Matcha Green Tea Sugar Cookies. These cookies are soft, chewy, and filled with antioxidants — thanks, matcha!
Waffles? Healthy? You’re kidding, right? Plating Pixels dedicates their food blog to creating comforting recipes while maintaining a healthy state of mind. Matcha Green Tea Waffles do just that — you’ll never want a toaster waffle again!
Jo Cooks creates a mouthful of a bite-sized dessert: Matcha Mini Cheesecakes with White Chocolate-Covered Strawberries. These green bites sit atop an Oreo crust and are topped with a chocolate-drizzled strawberry. The flavors of the tea and cream cheese work in perfect harmony to build this tasty cheesecake treat.
Calista of Good Morning Cali translated her affection for matcha tea (she dubs it “powdered gold”) into Matcha Green Tea Truffles. These globules are filled with white chocolate and guaranteed to provide the benefits of matcha tea, which makes us feel a little less guilty about eating five at a time.
The key to enjoying the benefits of matcha is to play around with it and see how you like it best. Celebrating Sweets found the way she liked it best by making her own Iced Matcha Green Tea Latte. Allison recommends mixing this satisfying drink with a blender to get rid of lumps and bumps.
Switch up plain old banana bread with a matcha-laced version. Fearless Dining‘s Gluten Free Matcha Green Tea Banana Bread will satisfy your sweet tooth at breakfast while also giving you your morning caffeine fix. Add chocolate chips to the batter for extra sweetness.
Larice of Feeding Your Beauty is on a mission to finding beauty from the inside out, starting with the food that goes into your body. She used a couple unique ingredients to create a healthy, Creamy Matcha Green Tea Popsicle: matcha, coconut cream, cashews, dates, and vanilla extract. You can also add vodka, which helps reduce ice crystals when frozen.
Chocolate lovers rejoice! National Brownie Day is not only a thing, it’s today. We’ve rounded up some of the best, most-indulgent variations for you to try.
Without further ado, which one is right for you?
The Espresso Addict. You love coffee as much as you love chocolate. This Tiramisu Brownie by Broma Bakery features stripped-down brownie business on the bottom with a rich whipped cream cheese frosting and espresso dusting party on the top – how could you go wrong?
The Salty. You are equal parts salty and sweet. This Salted Caramel Pretzel Brownie via Butter Baking gives you the even salty-to-sweet ratio you’re looking for, from the crust-like pretzel base to the sea-salt sprinkled on top.
The Trifecta. You are an equal-dessert-opportunist with a sweet tooth that has never met a stranger. With this Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Brownie from The Baker Upstairs, you really can have it all (brownies, Oreos, and cheesecake, that is).
The Holiday Spirit. You love the holiday season, or maybe just an excuse to eat all the pepperminty treats. This brownie, Joyful Healthy Eats dubs The Best Peppermint Brownie, is the one for you – candy canes galore.
Happy National Brownie day! Now what are you waiting for? Let’s get baking!
Hi! My name is Ronda Eagle, and I am the recipe developer, photographer, and blogger over on my website KitchenDreaming.com. Kitchen Dreaming is my food blog where I show you how to take the foods you crave, and make them quicker & easier to prepare but still bursting with flavor! I love cooking and creating new recipes, and I’m thrilled to be able to share that passion with you! I hope to see you again soon over in my kitchen!
Truth be told, I’ve been cooking since a very early age, and it’s something that comes very naturally to me and is something that I enjoy. However, being a busy mom means a very hectic schedule and all the stress that comes along with it. That said, I need recipes that are quick and easy to prepare but don’t come from processed ingredients — that is something that’s vital to me. I think most people these days share that same challenge. How do I get a meal on the table that’s not only quick but healthy and flavorful, too?
When choosing a recipe to recreate for this post, I knew I wanted to make something fun and festive for the upcoming holidays, and that would pair well with our main course. Naturally, the recipe for Cranberry Sauce with Lime and Ginger jumped out at me. I then adapted it for the slow cooker. I know you may say cranberry sauce is already pretty simple to make on the stovetop, but making it in my slow cooker allows me to go about and do other things. Let’s face it; when I’m already preparing a full holiday dinner, I am always looking for ways to free myself from the stove. This dish is one less thing I have to cater to during the rush of the holidays, and I’m good with that.
The only other adaptation I made to the original recipe was using raw honey instead of maple syrup. I did this because we are preparing a North African spiced prime rib this year and the flavors would meld beautifully with our main course. If you’re looking for a simple yet flavorful cranberry sauce to accompany your main meal, give this Cranberry Sauce with Lime and Ginger a try — you will not be disappointed by its bright flavors.
To prepare it in the slow cooker: Add all the ingredients into the slow cooker and stir to combine. Place the lid on the slow cooker and allow it to work its magic! If you choose, you can cook it quickly on high heat, which takes about 3 hours. However, if you prefer the low and slow method, cover and cook for about 8 hours. Once the cranberries have popped (a sure sign they are ready), simply use your spoon to mash up the cranberries to your desired consistency. The sauce will thicken considerably as it cools.