Recipe: Festive Shortbread with Cranberries and Hazelnuts

Recipe: Festive Shortbread with Cranberries and Hazelnuts

festive shortbreadSpecial thanks to Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox for developing this recipe.

This cookie recipe cannot be easier. The mixture can be stored in the fridge (in a wrapped roll) for upto 2 weeks, and baked whenever you want fresh shortbread. These cookies are incredibly luxurious & buttery, and they just look like Christmas! Add a sifting of icing sugar when you serve them on a plate.

Note: A stand mixer will make your life easier, but good old elbow grease and a wooden spoon will also do the trick.

Ingredients:

(makes about 48 cookies)

  • 100 g Montagu dried cranberries
  • 100 g Montagu blanched hazelnuts
  • 250 g soft butter
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar (icing sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (about 80-90 g) dark chocolate chips
  • icing sugar, for sifting

Method:

  1. Place the cranberries and hazelnuts in a food processor, and chop coarsely (not too fine). It takes about 15-30 seconds.
  2. Place the chopped mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer, then add the butter, flour, sugar, salt, vanilla and chocolate chips. Mix until the dough just comes together in a ball.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a surface lined with plastic wrap. Roll two logs of 4-5cm diameter, then twist the ends and refrigerate until firm (about 30 minutes, but you can leave it there for longer).
  4. Preheat the oven to 160 C. Unroll the firmed logs, then cut into rounds slightly less than 1 cm thick. Arrange on a baking tray (leave some space because they do rise a little) and bake for 16-18 minutes or until the edges start to turn lightly golden brown (do not overbake).
  5. Remove from the oven – they will still feel soft at this stage, but they will harden on standing. Leave to cool completely, then store in an airtight cookie tin or jar.

Note: After you’ve cut the rounds of dough, you can still “neaten” some of the cookies by pressing the edges to get rid of unwanted chips/crumbs/lines before baking. They are quite forgiving!