Cranberry Sandwich Cookies

Total Time:
2 hr 30 min
Prep:
1 hr 10 min
Inactive:
1 hr
Cook:
20 min

Yield:
about 20 cookies
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus a pinch
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus 2 tablespoons at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon cranberry juice cocktail
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 8 drops red gel food coloring
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
Directions
  • Pulse the granulated sugar and 1/3 cup dried cranberries in a food processor until finely ground. Add the flour, baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt; pulse to combine. Add the cut-up butter and shortening; pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Whisk the egg, cranberry juice, 1 teaspoon vanilla and the food coloring in a small bowl; add to the food processor and pulse to form a dough. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

  • Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of dough 1 1/2 inches apart onto the baking sheets. Bake, switching the pans halfway through, until the cookies are just set, 16 to 18 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes on the baking sheets; transfer to racks to cool completely.

  • Meanwhile, make the filling: Beat the cream cheese, room-temperature butter and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the confectioners' sugar; beat on low speed until incorporated, then increase the speed to high and beat until fluffy, 2 more minutes. Chop the remaining 1/4 cup dried cranberries; stir into the filling along with a pinch of salt. Sandwich between the cookies.

  • Photograph by Ryan Dausch


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