Recipe: Orange Cranberry Sandies

When I first started Cookie Crush, I knew that I would be shipping cookies to customers. So I needed cookies that would hold its shape. Shortbread cookies were an easy decision. I just needed to decide on flavors and develop recipes.

Pecan sandies, Mexican wedding cookies, Russian tea cakes, snowball cookies - they all derive from a basic formula of flour + water + butter + ground nuts... then rolled in confectioners sugar after baking. Easy formula but so over done. I wanted "different." So I tried different combinations:  dried fruit and nuts, dried fruit and citrus flavors, nuts and spices, dried fruit and chocolate, floral notes and dried fruit, nuts and chocolate - it went on and on. Then one day this and among others were on the menu.

 One of Cookie Crush's best-sellers. Picture credit:   JOY

One of Cookie Crush's best-sellers. Picture credit:  JOY

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces unbleached pastry flour
  • 6 ounces whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 7 ounces dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ounce confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried orange peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon water, at room temperature
  • confectioners sugar for dredging
  • optional:  vanilla powder - add to confectioners sugar for dredging

Notes

  • freshly grated orange rind of 1/2 of a medium sized orange can be used in place of dried orange peel and orange oil
  • all-purpose flour can be used in place of whole wheat and/or unbleached pastry flour

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients:  flour(s) and baking soda.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the sugar, butter, sea salt, dried orange peel, orange oil (or orange zest, if using), vanilla extract, and water at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients and chopped dried cranberries.
  4. If dough is crumbly, mix by hand using a wooden spoon until the dough comes together.
  5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rest for at least 15 minutes at room temperature before scooping.
  6. Use a size 40 ice cream scoop <or the Pampered Chef Small Scoop> to portion. Drop the scooped dough onto prepared baking sheets, spacing them at least 1 inch apart. Flatten the tops with your fingers or the bottom of a glass. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 20 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Dredge the cool cookies in confectioners sugar.