I took a couple of days off from work and hunkered down in my tiny apartment kitchen to bake my annual holiday basket. This is my seventh year baking this basket and as can be imagined, the basket has evolved and grown (some may say, it has grown into a crazy endeavor.)
This year, I made sixteen treats over the course of four days. Even though it was well thought out with spreadsheets and I knew I would be excited to send off the goodies to my family and friends; halfway through, I was feeling the craziness of it all! But the beat goes on and so did my baking.
For my sixth treat for my annual holiday basket was a cranberry pistachio shortbread lightly scented with orange.
Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread
1/2 cup pistachios
1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 mandarin orange (zest and juice)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
Toast pistachios in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. Cool, chop and set aside.
Mix butter, sugar, and zest with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy. Mix in juice.
Beat in flour and salt on low speed until dough forms. Fold in cranberries and pistachios.
In wax paper, roll dough into a 2-inch thick log. Freeze for 30 minutes.
Roll log into granulated sugar then slice into 1/2 inch pieces.
Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until sides are lightly browned, about 12 to 18 minutes.<