Fruit flavors are one of the easiest ways to make cookies taste yummy. So many combinations that work well together. This week's recipe called for cranberry and orange, which work exceptionally well together but needed a little kick. Looking around at my nut assortment, I thought perfect pecans would be just what these cookies required.
Pecans have almost a buttery taste; well, let's face it, who doesn't love butter? Since there are two butter sticks in this recipe, what a perfect match. If you really like pecans, you might like to try my pecan pie cookie cups or my southern sweet potato pie cookies.
Pecans are a great source of vitamins and plant protein sources. So these little beauties are just full of good components.
How to Make Roll and Slice Cookies
These are really simple cookies with a big flavor!
Prepping Your Ingredients
In a food processor, take fresh cranberries and pulse them into small pieces.
You want at least half a cup, but you can add a "little" more if you really like cranberries.
Since pecans are soft nuts, I usually chop them into small pieces with a knife.
Next, zest the oranges. I love a lot of orange with my cranberries, but zest enough for two tablespoons. This is usually about 2 oranges.
Mixing Your Shortbread Dough
Weigh your powdered sugar and in another bowl, weigh the flour, baking powder, and salt, whisking to blend.
Add the butter to a stand mixer and cream the butter for about 2 minutes on medium speed.
Add the powdered sugar and gradually increase the mixer speed until the sugar is incorporated into the butter. Mix for 2 to 3 minutes.
Time to add the orange zest and the vanilla extract and blend. I scrape down the sides before adding the flour mixture.
Finally, add the cranberries and the pecans. I usually turn the mixer on for about 15 seconds to incorporate them into the cookie dough.
You may have to mix a little with a spatula to ensure all the flour, cranberries, and pecans are distributed evenly throughout your cookie dough.
Roll and Wrap Shortbread Cookie Dough
TIP! If you take a paper towel center cardboard tube and cut it lengthwise, the two halves make great cradles for your cookie dough logs.
Place the dough onto a pastry sheet dusted with powdered sugar. Divide the dough in half and roll each half into a log.
Wrap each log with plastic wrap and place them on a small pan with the paper towel halves under each log. Then into the refrigerator, it goes. Chill for an hour.
Slice and Bake Cookies
Take one log out of the refrigerator and slice each cookie about ½" thick.
I can usually get one log onto a half-sheet pan. They do not spread very much but leave a little room between them on the parchment-lined pan.
Bake at 350°F (175°C or 180°C) for 12 to 13 minutes. After pulling the pan from the oven, I let them sit on it for a minute or two before moving them to a cooling rack.
To Use Fresh or Frozen Cranberries
Well, everyone has an answer to this question. Here is what I found for myself based on using both in my baking. Of course, it depends on what you are baking. If I put cranberries into a food processor to get small pieces, I use fresh. I think they stand up to the blades and do not turn mushy.
If I am making a filling that will be cooked on the stove, you can use either, but I would probably use fresh since they will hold their shape while cooking.
I would use the frozen cranberries if I added them straight to the cookie batter as a whole fruit. Cranberry muffins and cranberry bread are perfect examples.
Try My Other Cookies
Fresh Cranberry Orange Pecan Shortbread CookiesBarbara Hall
- 1 cup (227 g) Butter unsalted room temperature
- ⅔ cups (80 g) Powdered sugar
- 3 teaspoon (3 teaspoon) Vanilla Extract
- 2 Tablespoon (2 Tablespoon) Orange zest
- ½ cup (50 g) Cranberries fresh
- ½ cup (49.5 g) Pecans chopped
- 2 cups (250 g) All-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) Baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) Kosher Salt
- In a food processor, pulse whole fresh cranberries until they are in pieces and add to a small bowl. Then chop pecans with a knife until they are small pieces but not dust, you want small pieces. Then add pecans to a small bowl. It gives the cookies a little texture and will incorporate well throughout the whole cookie dough. Set both bowls aside. Next, zest the oranges into a small bowl. Set the bowl aside.
- Weigh or measure your powdered sugar into a bowl. In a separate bowl weigh or measure flour, baking powder, and salt together. I run a whisk through to blend them.
- In a stand mixer or handheld, add the butter and mix on medium speed to "cream" the butter. I scraped down the sides to make sure all the butter was creamed. Turn the mixer speed down and slowly add the powdered sugar until it is all incorporated. Turn the mixer to medium speed and mix for 2 to 3 minutes. Next, add the vanilla extract and orange zest and turn the mixer back to medium speed. I had to stop and scrape down the bowl and across the bottom to ensure it was all mixed.
- Turn the mixer speed down and slowly add the flour mixture until the flour is incorporated. The dough will be a little stiff. Turn the mixer off, add the cranberries and pecans and turn the mixer on for about 15 seconds. You may need to mix with a spatula to ensure the cranberries and pecans go through the whole mixture.
- Take the dough out of the bowl and place it on a silicone pastry mat that has been dusted with powdered sugar. Divide the dough in half and roll to make 2 log shapes, about 12 inches each. It should have a diameter of approximately 1-½ to 2 inches. Take plastic wrap and wrap it around each cookie dough log.
- I found a trick to take a paper towel center cardboard tube and split it in half length-wise. It makes a perfect cradle for the logs. Then, adding the dough logs to the cradles, I put them on a small sheet pan and into the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C or 180°C). Take one log out of the refrigerator and unwrap the plastic wrap. Slice the log into ½-inch slices and put them onto a parchment-lined cookie pan. I put the whole sliced log onto the sheet pan. They only need about an inch between each disc of the cookie—Bake for 12 to 13 minutes. After pulling the pan from the oven, I leave the cookies on the pan for about a minute or two. Then move the cookies to a cooling rack.
I am not a certified Dietitian or Nutritionist. The nutrition amounts given below are provided through a program and are only a guideline.