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Cranberry and Orange Shortbread Cookies

Cranberry and Orange Shortbread Cookies

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I
absolutely LOVE making appetizers, hence the weekly series – Friday Night Bites
was born.
  Next to appetizers, is making
cookies.  They are a one to three bite
delight that simply makes your mouth sing and puts a smile on anyone’s
face.  With my love of cookies, I was
elated to learn that the 4th annual “Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap2014” was taking place.  I immediately
got signed up and anxiously waited for my three matches to arrive in my
email.  The next question was – what type
of cookie would I send this year. Here is what I sent in 2011, 2012 and
2013

Click “Read More” below to continue post

Several weeks ago, I attended my monthly book club
dinner.  Each month or so, we alternate
houses and the host will make dinner and dessert for everyone while we discuss
the book.  Yes, we really do discuss the
book. Smile.  In fact, we read Gone Girl several years ago and now it is a movie and we also read Unbroken, which is
coming soon to a theater near you. By the way, I loved Unbroken and would
highly recommend reading prior to the movie arriving.  With the last book club, our host Alex made
the most divine Cranberry and Orange Shortbread Cookies.  They simply screamed holiday and I almost
could not stop eating them – they were that good.  I knew – that would be my cookie for this
years swap.  Like Alex, I substituted the
dried cranberry for fresh and kicked up the orange zest.  The original recipe can be found here.
I was excited to receive my first dozen cookies and they
were a divine Tangerine Butter Cookie from Matthew at Plating Pixels.  He actually is another Bay Area blogger and
his cookies simply melted in your mouth. 
Next to arrive at my office was a dozen darling little Iced Gingerbread Men from Kimberly at Bake Love Give
Kimberly actually lives in my very own city – what cool thing to meet a
neighbor blogger virtually.  These little
gingerbread were incredibly tasty and looked like they came from a professional
bakery.  Last but not least, was a dozen
Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies from Megan at The Housewife in Training Files.  They were light and
tasty bites of goodness.  My office
absolutely devoured them.
Each year Lindsay from Love and Olive Oil and Julie from The Little Kitchen host the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.  They create a lot of buzz and fun along with
raising money for a great cause.  This
year they partnered with Cookies for Kid’s Cancer which is a non-profit
organization committed to funding new therapies used in the fight against
pediatric cancer.  Last year they were
highlighted in the online magazine from Heidi from Foodiecrush.  In fact, I had my very own HolidayCheckerboard Cookies highlighted in the magazine. 

There were almost 700 participants in this years cookie
swap.  Check out Lindsey and Julie’s
blogs in the next several days to see links to ALL of the recipes.  Happy Holidays Everyone!

Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

Makes 4 dozen

2 Sticks butter, room temperature (1 Cup)

½ Cup + 4 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar

3 teaspoon Vanilla

2 Tablespoons Grated Orange Zest

½ Cup Fresh Cranberries, chopped well (Can use dried
cranberries instead)

2 Cup Flour
¼ teaspoon Baking Powder

2 pinches of salt

In a stand mixer, cream the butter well until smooth and
creamy.  Add the powdered sugar slowly
until incorporated.  Add the vanilla,
orange zest and salt and mix well.  Add
the flour and baking powder slowly until well incorporated.  Slowly add the fresh cranberries and mix
quickly.

Form dough into 2 logs, about 1 ½ inches in diameter.  Wrap in parchment or plastic wrap and chill
for at least one hour.  When you are
ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Remove plastic wrap or parchment paper. 
Slice ½ inch rounds and space about 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with
parchment. Bake until pale golden brown, about 12 minutes and let cool.  Store in an airtight container.

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