I'm starting my Great Holiday Treats posts today. over the next couple of weeks, I'll be sharing my favorite tried and true holiday treat recipes with you. They're all delicious, and I've made them many, many times for people.
Treat #1- Cranberry and Lemon Shortbread Cookies
Shortbread cookies have no eggs.. don't know how this information has escaped me, but there it is. It's incredibly easy to make shortbread a vegan treat by substituting Earth Balance for the butter. I highly recommend Earth Balance because, while it contains no dairy, it tastes just like butter.
These shortbread cookies are so incredibly easy to make. Minimal refrigeration of the dough, and no rolling pins needed. Less mess, less fuss.
It's no secret how much I love lemon. These Cookies are just the right balance of tart, fresh lemon flavor, sweet cranberries, and are so buttery. They melt in your mouth. So, so good!
I would recommend making little baby-sized cookies as I did for portion control, but yeah, like that worked as I ate 10 of them. What the heck- it's the holidays. Eat as many as you'd like- YOLO.
Packaging tips for holiday treats:
- I think a homebaked treat becomes extra special with cute packaging. It just makes the thought even more special.
- I collect small plates and bowls throughout the year when I see them on sale at HomeGoods. It's great you can buy just one plate, and usually for $2- $3.
- I discovered that the little loaf tray by Simply Baked (same company that makes the muffin cuos I use, and also available at HomeGoods) perfectly hold a dozen medium sized cookies. Simply cover the cookie filled tray with a food safe clear bag, and tie on your favorite ribbon.
- If you're in SoCal, Fabric Barn in Long Beach is worth the trip for cellophane bags and ribbons. A whole spool of grossgrain ribbon is only $4 or so- a huge bargain!
|Food safe waxed tissue- The Container Store|
Treat box- Target
Ribbon- Fabric Barn
Cranberry and Lemon Shortbread Cookies
Makes 30 small cookies
Doubling recipe will yield 5 dozen small cookies
10 Tbsp ( 1 stick + 2 Tbsp) salted butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla paste or scraped vanilla bean
1 Tbsp lemon zest (about 1/2 lemon)
1 Tbsp lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
Granulated sugar for pressing on cookies
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- Mix together butter and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl 3-4 minutes until light and creamy
- Add vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon peel until mixed in
- Scrape down bowl with a spatula
- Add in the flour and mix just until combined
- Stir in cranberries with with a large spoon
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper
- Scoop out dough with small cookie scoop, and roll into balls
- Place the dough balls about 2" apart on sheets and put them in fridge for about 20 minutes to chill dough
- Place a few atbsp of granulated sugar on a small plate and set aside
- Once dough has chilled, lightly flatten each dough ball with the bittom if a drinking goass dipped in the sugar
- Bake for 12- 14 minutes until the cookies just start to briwn around the edges, and are cooked through
- Cool on a wire rack completely before you package them
Dairy free option- use Earth Balance in place of butter. Replacing the butter also makes these cookies vegan.