I finally found cranberries at the grocery store. So it is time for fall and holiday cookie thinking. I sat down to think about how I could make a delicious holiday cookie using cranberries and came up with a couple of good ideas. This cookie is the first, which is using hazelnuts and cranberries. But how can I dress up my cranberry cookies that say Christmas as soon as you look at them? They have to have sparkle!
I found White Shimmer Sugar that adds a sparkle to the top of each cookie that I love. I also reserved some of the chopped-up cranberries that will look great against white icing. So I just added a small amount of the white shimmer sugar and it just pops against the dark red color of the cranberry.
I was looking at a TV commercial on cranberry harvesting but really wanted to see more about how they harvest these little red gems: Ocean Spray Cranberry Harvest.
Best Holiday Cookies
Cream cheese cookie dough is so creamy and light. It gives the perfect backdrop for holiday cranberries! I love that I can see the cranberries and lemon zest peeking out.
After mixing up your dough, chill it for a quick thirty minutes. This will allow you to scoop it easily. Because these have such pretty mix-ins, I do simply drop the dough from the scoop rather than rolling it smooth.
These still look fairly pale once baked, but should be smooth on top and feel "set" to the touch. Remove them to a rack to cool completely.
The icing is a perfect blend of shortening and butter. This gives you the best way to sprinkle on holiday cheer of chopped cranberries and large, sparkling sugar. Enjoy!
Cranberry Hazelnut Holiday CookiesBarbara Hall
- 5 oz Cream Cheese
- ½ cup Butter unsalted 1 stick room temperature
- 1 ¼ cup Sugar white 248 g
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 ¾ cups All-purpose flour 330 g
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 teaspoon Baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon Baking soda
- 1 tablespoon Lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon Maple syrup
- 1 ⅔ cup Ocean Spray Fresh cranberries chopped
- 1 cup Hazelnuts
- 1 ½ cup Powdered sugar 170 g
- 2 tablespoon room temperature Butter unsalted
- 2 tablespoon room temperature Crisco shortening
- 2 tablespoon Maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon Lemon juice
- ⅓ cup Fresh cranberries reserved from the chopped bag for the cookies
- White shimmer sugar sprinkle on top of the chopped cranberries
- In a food processor, chop an entire bag of Ocean Spray whole cranberries till they are small pieces. Zest and juice one lemon reserving the lemon juice for the icing. Weigh or measure your sugar and set aside. In another bowl, weigh or measure the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and run a whisk through to blend.
- In a stand or handheld mixer, add the cream cheese and butter to the bowl and blend on medium speed for a couple of minutes. Add the sugar and mix for another couple of minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides. Next, add the lemon zest, maple syrup, and vanilla extract and mix for about another minute. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the flour mixture blend till incorporated. Stop the mixer and add the chopped cranberries and the hazelnut pieces to the bowl and incorporate them through the cookie dough.
- Cover the cookie dough bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for half an hour. Preheat your oven to 350° while you wait for the cookie dough. Line your cookie pan with parchment paper and using either a small or medium cookie scoop place 12 scoops onto the cookie pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, leave the cookies on the pan for about 1 minute before moving them to a cooling rack.
ICING WITH TOPPINGS
- Add the Crisco shortening and butter together in a mixer and blend till you don't see any small lumps of shortening. Add the maple syrup and lemon juice and mix it into the butter and shortening. Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Make sure your cookies are cooled before you start icing them. I take a knife and spread the icing around the top of the cookie.
- Icing about 12 cookies, I take the reserved ⅓ cup of the chopped cranberries and add a small amount to the top of the icing. I then take some of the White Shimmer Sugar and add that on top of the chopped cranberries. Then move on to the next dozen.