I like giving practical gifts. Meaning something really usable or edible. It could be a little easier for myself as I am a baker. And the fact that everyone loves home-made food really encourages me to bake and pack and give. Most importantly, your gift receiver will never have to throw away or donate your gift right away.
Cookies made the perfect gift. Recently I’ve started to do a lot of cookie baking for my clients and my friends, just because everyone loves cookies. And they store well. I am baking and packing a few pieces of each of my cookie collections in a box. And it becomes a very heart-warming and lovely Christmas gift.
These dried cranberry shortbread cookies can go by themselves without the dried cranberries. Classic and simple like these. Yet they are also unbelievably versatile that you can actually add whatever you like. Dried fruits, nuts, espresso or cocoa powder, dried herbs, citrus zest…ANYTHING!
Ingredients (about 40 cookies):
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup finely chopped dried cranberries
In a large bowl, sift the flour and salt.
Cream butter and powdered sugar in a bowl of a standing mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.
Reduce the speed to low and beat in the flour mixture and dried cranberries until just incorporated.
Gather dough and form a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to chill.
Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into rounds or other shapes using a floured cookie cutter. Place on the prepared baking sheets and place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned.
Remove from oven and let the cookies cool a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.