Butter Cookies with Dried Cranberries and Roasted Pecans
- 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the baking sheet
- 1/3 Cup turbinado sugar
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 1/2 Cup pecans, roasted*
- 1/2 Cup dried cranberries
- 1 Cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling the dough
- Pinch of sea salt
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The inspiration for this recipe arose a few years ago, when my mother-in-law gave me a huge bag of freshly picked pecans. I was absolutely delighted of course, but wondered what I would end up making with all these pecans.
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Place the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and orange zest in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on medium speed until the mixture is fluffy and pale. Set aside.
Place the roasted pecans in the bowl of a food processor. Process until very finely ground (be careful not to overprocess the nuts or they'll turn into nut butter). Transfer to a bowl. Place the dried cranberries in the bowl of a food processor. Process until finely chopped.
Place the pecans, cranberries, flour, and salt in a medium-sized bowl and stir until well blended. Add to the butter mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until wet crumbs form. Using your fingers, bring the crumbs together until it forms a dough.
Lightly flour a work surface. Shape the dough into 2 cylinders about 8 inches long. Flatten the cylinder on 4 sides to make a square log. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cut each log into twelve, 5/8-inch-thick slices. Butter a large baking sheet or place a Silpat on it. Place the slices on the baking sheet 1 inch apart and bake until the cookies are golden at the bottom, for 12-13 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and let the cookies cool in the baking sheet. Once cooled to room temperature, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up 2 weeks.
Note: To roast the nuts, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake until pale golden, for 12-15 minutes. Cool to room temperature before using in the recipe.