Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

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After a long break, I am back, with something for the season. I am always a big fan of shortbread cookies, and these shortbread cookies not only have the colors of the season, but taste amazing. This is something I added to the Christmas cookie list last year and I have made it twice mid year even though it was not Christmas season. These cookies are great to bake as a holiday gift to give away to friends and family or to take to a Holiday gathering. The best part about these cookies is that the dough can be made well ahead of time, rolled, chilled, sliced and frozen. You can pull out the little discs out of freeze and straight into the oven for some fresh baked cookies.

Ingredients:
(Makes 4 dozen cookies)
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries, coarsely chopped

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Method:
In a large bowl whisk the flour with the salt.

In the bowl beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Add in the vanilla extract. Gently stir the flour mixture just until incorporated. Fold in the chopped pistachios and dried cranberries. Make sure that the nuts and cranberries are evenly distributed throughout the dough.(I had to switch to using my hands, kind of like when you make pizza dough, to form the dough together.)

Divide the dough in half. Place each half on a piece of wax paper. Roll the dough on the counter, along with the paper to form a smooth log. Twist the ends of the paper to seal the logs, and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours, or up to three days. (At this point, you can freeze the logs, for up to 2 months. Or remove aftr 2 hours, slice as noted below and freeze in an airtight container separating each disc with was/parchment paper.)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F . Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using a sharp knife, slice the logs into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick cookies. Place the cookies on the lined baing sheet and bake for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until the cookies are just beginning to brown around the edges. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

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Verdict: Buttery crust with flecks of green and red, the pistachios get toasted in the buttery crust and taste awesome. This is the best shortbread I have made so far.

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