Vanilla Shortbread with Cranberries, Pistachios and Orange

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I bought some new vanilla paste and Irish butter yesterday because things like that get me excited. To each their own, I guess. Anyway, since cookies were on the agenda, vanilla cookies with butter were now on the agenda. Shortbread it is!

On my way to make my vanilla shortbread I got sidetracked by some pistachios, and then cranberries, and then oranges. By the time I got to my mixer it looked like a Harry & David gift box had thrown up on my counter. Just like that, my vanilla shortbread got an upgrade

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For something so simple, they are flawlessly delicious. Butter is better as they say. Not to mention, they’re quick and easy to make. If you’re like me, it’ll be your savior when you laze around all day dreading a party you never fancied in the first place and you now have only 2 hours to pull your shit together. So, from my procrastination station to yours, I gift you these cookies. You’re welcome.

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SHORTBREAD COOKIES: makes 12-14 cookies

1 c. good quality softened butter (not melted)

1/2 c. granulated sugar

pinch of salt

1 1/2 t. vanilla bean paste (or 2 vanilla beans worth)

2 c. all purpose flour

1/2 c. dried cranberries or cherries

1/2 c. shelled pistachios

1 t. orange zest

350° F / 180° C

  1. Cream the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla.
  2. Sift in the flour and salt and mix on medium speed for about 1 minute until it comes together. You may wonder if you’ve done it right because it starts out very crumbly.
  3. Add the cherries, pistachios and zest. Mix until just combined.
  4. Form dough into an even log about 12 inches long and roll in parchment paper.
  5. Either freeze or chill until dough is firm all the way through.
  6. Slice cookies off at your preferred thickness and bake for 10-15 minutes until just golden brown. Cooking time depends on how thick you cut them.
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