Weekend Cookies: Cranberry-Orange-Ginger Buttons
Need a treat for the weekend? Try Cranberry-Orange-Ginger Button cookies. They're easy, not-too-sweet, and flavored with tangy cranberries, orange zest, and a little crystallized ginger. The dough should be refrigerated before you bake it, so preparing it tonight is ideal, if you want to bake the cookies this weekend. Mixing up the dough will take you only a few minutes, and you can speed up the process considerably if you chop/grind the cranberries and crystallized ginger in a small blender/chopper (like a smoothie blender, which is what I use). Although the cookies are great anytime, they're especially nice for Valentine's Day with their little red flecks. I like the cookies with tea, and they're also nice served with ice cream, sherbet, puddings, or fruit. If you've got a fancy (or not so fancy) dinner party planned and want to serve a cheese platter, add some of the little button cookies to the platter. The cookies are delicious with cheeses.
Cranberry-Orange-Ginger Button Cookies -- Makes about 24
1/2 cup of butter
1/4 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons of grated orange zest
1/4 cup of corn starch
1 1/4 cups of flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of dried cranberries, chopped fine
2-3 pieces of crystallized ginger, chopped fine (about 3 tablespoons)
In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, vanilla, and orange zest and beat them until creamy. Beat in the corn starch, flour, and salt. Stir in the dried cranberries and crystallized ginger. Shape the dough into a log about 12-14-inches long and about 1 1/2-inches in diameter on a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap. Wrap the log well with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 4 hours and perferably overnight. When you're ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Slice the cookies into rounds about 1/4-inch thick and place the rounds on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake the cookies for 18-22 minutes or until they're firm and only a little brown around the edges. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheets for a few minutes before removing them to cool completely.