Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dried Cherry and Almond Cookie with Vanilla

This cookie recipe had so many good reviews from the Food Network cookie site that I just had to try it. It's another Giada de Laurentis recipe and I thought the use of dried cherries sounded like a great combo with the almonds and almond extract. Now, I'm sure it would have been great..if I only could have found dried cherries in my local markets! ( If truth be told, I actually did find some in the bulk foods section of one market but when I got them home and tasted one, it had an awful almost chemical taste and I couldn't use them.
So I had to substitute dried cranberries. The recipe also suggests using dried apricots but the cranberries are red and, you know, we want a festive, holiday cookie!
One note: The amount of icing that the recipe makes is way too much ( as noted in a few of the reviews) so just half it, but I will give you the amounts originally given.
These cookies are really so good! They are quick and easy to make. The almond extract flavor really comes through and the cranberries and almonds are still a great combo.

Start by beating, in a standing mixer, the first 6 ingredients til fluffy.

Beat in the egg and add the flour til just combined.

Chop the cranberries ( or cherries) so you don't have big chunks in there!

I used sliced and toasted almonds and I didn't bother chopping them. I just crushed them with my hand as I put them into the mix.

Shape the dough into a log or 2 logs and wrap in plastic and refridgerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. It can be made up to 3 days ahead.

Cut the logs into slices 1/2" thick. Space 1" apart on your parchment lined sheet and bake 15 minutes.

Cool completely and decorate with icing.

Dried Cherry and Almond Cookie with Vanilla

1 stick unsalted butter, room temp.

1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp almond extract

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. fine sea salt ( I didn't have this so I used table salt)

1 large egg

1 1/4 cups flour

3/4 cup coarsely chopped dried tart cherries or dried cranberries)

1/2 cup slivered blanched almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped.


2 3/4 cup powdered sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

3 tbsp. water

1. Beat butter, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt til fluffy.

2. Beat in egg.

3. Add flour, beating on low speed til just combined.

4. With spoon, stir in cherries ( cranberries) and almonds.

5. Shape into a log ( or 2 logs) and wrap in plastic and refridgerate for 2 hours or overnight.

* It can be made up to 3 days ahead.

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

6. Cut logs 1/2 " thick and place on parchment lined sheet 1" apart.

7. Bake 15 minutes and cool completely on wire racks.

8. Icing: Put sugar into a medium bowl and add vanilla and water, whisking til smooth. Add more water, 1 tsp. at a time if needed.

9. Ice cookies and allow icing to cool. I filled icing into a sandwich baggie and cut a tiny end off the corner to pipe onto the cookies.

* Note: Can replace dried cherries with 1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots and add 2 tbsp. toasted pine nuts. Also use 1 tsp. vanilla and omit almond extract.

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