News reports tell us this past Monday was the busiest day of the year at the post office. Did you mail all your packages off? Yeah, me either. I dread the inevitable trip every year and am always looking for ways to beat the system – off hours, middle of the week visits. It never works. Seems everyone has the same plan as I do which makes me think the place is probably deserted at peak times. I stand in that long line thinking about all the other things I should be doing, stressing about how much baking and shopping I have to finish. This is where my one dough/many cookies plan really comes in handy, especially the cookie for today: Cranberry Pistachio Coins.
This one has all the festive colors of the season: bright red cranberries and deep green pistachios. It’s holiday without beating you over the head with garish colors and overpowering flavors. A lovely buttery cookie speckled with bits of red and green and a nice shimmer from a light coating of sugar. Lovely and it’s the perfect cookie to have with a cup of tea. Not all are, you know.
As we’ve done in the last 3 posts (and the following 8), you start with the handy butter cookie dough. Into the mixer it goes with some chopped cranberries and pistachios and a bit of orange zest. Mix it up, roll into a few fat logs and chill (or freeze for a few months.) When ready to bake, slice off neat rounds, dip one side in sugar and bake until lightly golden brown. Could not be easier.
STRESS THERAPY BAKING FACTOR: EASY BREEZY. This is one of those cookies you need to hold in reserve. It is ridiculous easy, infinitely variable and having a few logs tucked in the freezer will save you more times than I can count. Slice off a few and warm cookies will be ready in 10 minutes. If that isn’t a holiday godsend, well then I don’t know what is. I call these types of cookies the “workhorses”. They brighten up a cookie platter, add a lovely delicate flavor and preserve your sanity during these crazy times.
2015 12 Days of Cookies: Pretzel Caramel Shortbread, Fig Mezzaluna, Dutch Windmills, Bourbon Peach Rugelah, Chai Spiced Meringue Kisses, Almond Joy Bars,Swedish Kringla, Chile Lime Macaroons, Orange Cranberry Cornmeal Shortbread, Eggnog Buttons, Ginger Palmiers, Rainbow Cookies
seven years ago: Pumpkin Bundt Cake
six years ago: Bacon Cheddar Gougeres
five years ago: Southern Cheese Straws
four years ago: Kale & Squash Salad
three years ago: Pumpkin Spice Granola
two years ago: Cider Apple Pie
last year: Caldo Verde
CRANBERRY PISTACHIO COINS
Makes about 6 dozen cookies, the recipe can be easily halved or doubled
½ batch basic butter cookie dough, room temperature
½ cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1/3 cup shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of kosher salt
½ cup sugar, for dipping
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the room temperature cookie dough, cranberries, pistachios, orange zest, baking soda and a pinch of salt until well combined.
- Divide the dough in quarters and roll each piece on a piece of plastic wrap into a nice round log, around 5 ½” long.
- Chill at least 4 hours or overnight (or freeze up to 3 months).
- When ready to bake preheat the oven to 350°F and line two sheet pans with parchment paper or silicone baking liners.
- Place the sugar in a bowl and set aside.
- With a sharp thin knife, cut the log into ¼” thick coins, rotating the log frequently to keep one side from flattening. If the dough is frozen, give it a few minutes to soften just a little.
- Dip one side of the coin into sugar and place, sugar side up, 1” apart on parchment lined sheet pans.
- Bake 8-10 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through until lightly golden brown.
- Do ahead: it’s best to make and freeze the dough and bake as needed rather than freeze baked cookies. Frozen dough will keep up to 3 months.