Cranberry Almond Cookies

My mom makes an amazing pie that we kids always request, a cranberry almond pie.  There isn't a crust to make, just a mix of ingredients, then pour into a pie plate.  It's tart, which makes it perfect for adding ice cream to, and it has that kick of almond extract that makes everything so lovely.
I decided that cookies would be a wonderful adaptation of this glorious pie, and found success on my first try.  I adapted the almond cookie recipe used here and here, and added some fresh diced cranberries for that tart kick.
The ingredients are similar to many cookie bases.  Butter creamed with sugar, some egg, flour, and dry ingredients, but those fresh cranberries and almond paste are gonna take these over the top.
Fresh cranberries, a little sugar.  Pulsed until uniform.  Cranberries are really what it's about this winter season.
Gorgeous dough with red flecks of cranberry.
Shape and bake.
I was even happier with these than I thought I would be.  So much like the pie my mom makes, but in portable form.  Surprisingly, I liked these cookies best once they had cooled, not warm right from the oven (but maybe I had already eaten too much raw cookie dough).  Without melty chocolate to look forward to, these were amazing once the bottom was crisp and not warm and mushy.  But that's just me :-)
Get fancy with it.
Cranberry Almond Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar, divided
4 oz almond paste
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup fresh cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Reserve 1 tablespoon of sugar to be mixed with the fresh cranberries.  Cream the butter and remaining sugars together.  Break the almond paste into small chunks and add to the bowl while mixing to ensure it's evenly incorporated.  Add the eggs, and vanilla extract.  Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix until just combined.

Pulse the cranberries and reserved tablespoon of sugar in a food processor, or chop finely and stir in the sugar.  Add to the cookie dough, and mix until just incorporated.

Place teaspoon sized balls of dough onto lined cookie sheets, and bake for 10-12 minutes or until turning golden brown on the bottom edge.  Remove from baking sheet and let cool.

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