These homemade slice-and-bake refrigerator Christmas cookies are the perfect addition to any holiday goodie bag.
I make these cranberry-nut slice-and-bake cookies every year, and love how versatile this recipe is - you can swap out the dried cranberries for almost any dried fruit, and you can use any type of nut you like. Pistachios and cranberries make for a festively colored cookie, and dried cherry with rich pine nuts and dark chocolate chips are a decadent holiday treat. This time, I used cranberries and pecans, since that was what I had on hand.
Making these cookies is very simple. You cream together the butter and sugar, add the dry ingredients, then fold in the fruit and nuts.
Divide the dough in two and roll each into a log about 1 1/2" to 2" wide. Roll tightly in plastic wrap, then chill for at least one hour (otherwise the dough will be too soft to cut into slices).
When the dough is thoroughly chilled, remove each log from the plastic wrap one at a time and roll in coarse sugar, pressing firmly to adhere (I brushed the dough with egg white first to help the sugar stick - but I found that doing so made the edges brown too quickly in the oven).
Cut each log into 1/4 inch thick slices, rotating the log occasionally to help it maintain its shape. If the dough isn't slicing cleanly, put it back in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up.
Place the cookie slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet. They don't spread much when cooking, but you should still try to leave about an inch between each one.
Bake in a 350°F oven for 15-18 minutes, or until lightly golden. Let cool for one minute on cookie sheet, then remove to cooling rack.
Delicious with milk, tea, coffee, or a good dose of holiday cheer (peppermint schnapps).
Homemade Slice-and-Bake Cranberry Nut Christmas Cookies
adapted from epicurious
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter, softened
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
zest of 1 lime
1/2 cup nuts (pistachios, pecans, or pine nuts all work well)
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup Sugar in the Raw or other coarse sugar
1. In a large bowl, cream butter and granulated sugar. Add vanilla, spices, salt and lime zest and mix. Stir in flour until dough is combined.
2. Mix in nuts and fruit.
3. Divide dough in two. Form each half into a 1 1/2"-2" log, and wrap each tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour, or overnight.
4. Preheat the oven to 350°F
5. Working one at a time, remove dough from plastic wrap and roll firmly in coarse sugar, until the outside is thoroughly coated.
6. Cut each log into 1/4 inch thick slices, rotating the log occasionally to help it maintain its shape. If the dough isn't slicing cleanly, put it back in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up. Bake cookies on parchment lined baking sheet for 15-18 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool on pan for 1 minute, then move to cooling rack.