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Pistachio-cranberry icebox cookies

Pistachio-cranberry icebox cookies
Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Beyond the colorful decorations and after the initial rush of sugar, holiday cookies are about memories, tradition and sharing with those close to us. Be they humble or ornate, our baked goods are used to celebrate and give thanks — ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, plus chilling and cooling times | Makes about 3 to 4 dozen cookies
  • 1 1/2 cups (6.4 ounces) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1½ sticks) butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios (2½ ounces), chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten (for brushing)
  • 1/4 cup decorative sugar, preferably coarse

Step 1In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

Step 2In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat together the butter, granulated sugar and orange zest until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing until the dough just comes together in clumps. Stir in the pistachios and cranberries.

Step 3Gather and press the dough together, then divide it into 2 equal pieces. Using a sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper as an aid, form each piece of dough into a log about 11/2 inches in diameter. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until very firm, at least 2 hours.

Step 4Place racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Step 5Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Lightly brush egg over the outside of the log, then sprinkle with decorative sugar. Cut each log crosswise into one-fourth-inch thick slices (if the dough softens too much, freeze the dough briefly until firm enough again to slice). Place the cookies about one-half inch apart on lined baking sheets.

Step 6Bake the cookies until pale golden, about 15 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway. Carefully transfer the cookies to wire racks, using a slotted spatula, to cool completely.

Note: "Pistachio-cranberry icebox cookies might be one of the most popular recipes among my family and friends. I like icebox cookies because I can start making up cookie dough a couple months before Christmas and do a baking marathon a week or two before Christmas." - Sandra Lee Smith


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