So here me out. I know, it’s not even Thanksgiving. But look, you can make these now and keep them in the freezer so when parties and cookie exchanges and teacher gifting time sneaks up on you and you’re dizzy from shopping, you can rest assured knowing that you have something mouthwatering without much time or thought at all! Also, you can send the cookies off with the recipe to let them steal it and pass it on!
This recipe was adapted from an almond orange shortbread recipe I found several years ago in one of those small Martha Stewart Everyday Food magazines (do they make them anymore? I loved them!). I love this recipe because you can swap out or add so many things! The original recipe included orange zest and almonds. I kept the orange zest in these, as well as the almond extract, but added festive red and green through the pistachios and cranberries. You can swap out the orange zest for lemon zest with almonds, or lime zest with macadamia nuts and dried mango (ohhhh that’s my next one), or use raisins and pecans with a dash of cinnamon and use vanilla instead of almond extract… the possibilities are endless! They’re buttery, crumbly, and just sweet enough without being so overly indulgent. Violet insisted that she didn’t like cranberries until I made her eat one of these. As stubborn as she is even she couldn’t pretend not to love them!
I made the dough at night and stuck it in the freezer until morning. It needs to stay in the freezer for at least 45 minutes, but if it’s been in there for longer than a few hours, let it sit out for about 30 minutes or so to prevent it from crumbling as you slice the cookies off the log. I ran my knife under hot water and wiped it dry between each slice and it made it a lot easier. Slice slowly and it shouldn’t crumble on you.
If you switch up the recipe and find a killer combination, let me know! I’d love to steal it from you. Find my printable recipe under the photos.