December 20, 2009

White Chocolate, Cranberry & Orange Shortbread

Flour, sugar, butter and salt are ingredients that, in my opinion, produce the worlds tastiest biscuit. Shortbread. Simple and perfect. So why mess with the charming simplicity of this Scottish marvel by adding white chocolate, orange zest and cranberries? Well, because simplicity goes hand in hand with versatility, which is why shortbread is so special. Mixed fruits and herbs, such as dried Apricots, Lavender, Rosemary and Thyme are great additions to shortbread, as is Parmesan cheese.

There are dozens of combinations that take shortbread to a whole new level and this is one of them.

The idea came after making a variety of chocolate truffles that included a white chocolate, cranberry and shortbread combination. I quickly realized that these festive flavours would be delicious in biscuit form.

This shortbread would make a lovely addition to your Christmas dessert table. It would also be delightful on Christmas Eve with an ice cold glass of milk. Something I'm sure, a white bearded man in a big red suit could attest to!

For us, Christmas this year will be a large affair. We have friends and family coming from all over. We will also be doing some traveling here and there. So, if I don't see you again before the holiday, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Makes about 30 biscuits

2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
2/3 cup powdered sugar (icing sugar) sifted
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
Finely grated zest of 1 orange

No need to cream the butter and sugar and all that other faff. Just put the flour, sugar, butter, vanilla, salt and orange zest into a large mixing bowl and stir until well combined. I find it easier to use my hands. Be sure not to overwork the dough. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.

Divide the dough in half and shape into two logs, each about 1 1/2-inch-diameter. Wrap in cling film (plastic wrap) and refrigerate until firm, about 1-2 hours. You can also chill the dough in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.

Once chilled, preheat oven to 350F. Slice the logs into 1/4 inch slices. You may have to pat each slice a little to secure any loose bits of chocolate. Place biscuit slices 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.

Note: I found that the shortbread was ever so slightly over baked at 15 minutes, but this happens to be the way I like it. Just something to keep in mind.

38 comments:

  1. one of my fav cookie combo's. I'm so glad you used real cranberries!!

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  2. beautiful. I made shortbread this year with dark chocolate... not as pretty as these

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  3. oohh so YUM. that looks DELICIOUSS<3

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  4. wonderful, I still have some left over fresh cranberries and white chocolate.I think I'll make this today!

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  5. cranberry and orange, nice combination!

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  6. Dawn and Mrs. B - I used dried cranberries, but I'm sure fresh ones would be delicious! If using fresh I would bring the sugar up to 3/4 cup.

    ~Jennie

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  7. Beautiful shortbread...love the flavor add-ins...perfect :)

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  8. Jennie this look absolutely delicious!!
    gloria

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  9. wow great shortbread you blog is awesome by the way, would you consider doing a guest post for chow and chatter fellow Brit

    Rebeccasubbiah at yahoo dot com, maybe we could re post the penguins!

    Rebecca

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  10. Rebecca - I have sent you an email. :)

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  11. Hello, your cookies are delicious, I like very much! Good day

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  12. wow! this looks so good i amd going to HAVE to try to make these!

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  13. Awesome! These cookies would be perfect with a tall glass of milk or a strong Starbucks coffee. Just beautiful.

    Happy holidays to you and your family.

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  14. It's ironic you've posted this because I've spent the last several days baking shortbread for friends! I use my mom's recipe which is very basic, and for the holidays I put red and green sugar sprinkles on top. Nothing fancy and delicious like yours, but who doesn't love butter and sugar?!?! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  15. I love the combo of the cranberries and orange. These would be right up my alley with a nice cup of tea. Gorgeous photos as well!

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  16. Marvelous cookies. And I love your red bow. The flavors are perfect and I wish I had some right now with a cup of tea!

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  17. These look fabulous! Thanks for the recipe.

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  18. These cookies look wonderfully light and crumbly, perfect for dipping in milk on Christmas eve.

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  19. Beautiful cookies, I think santa may need some of these!

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  20. What a great addition to shortbread! The addition of the white chocolate has to send this combo over the top. Yum!

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  21. Si quieres un año de prosperidad, siembra trigo. Si quieres diez años de prosperidad, siembra árboles frutales. Si quieres una vida de prosperidad, siembra amigos. Te deseo que siembres muchos amigos.
    FELIZ NAVIDAD.

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  22. delicious and very appropiate for this tme of the year, i am going to bake them right away, and give them as xmas presents, thanks a lot for the recipe, have a lovely christmas, cheers from london

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  23. Nice. Any recipe-for-aperture spins on Great British classics coming up? fish and chips? sunday roast?

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  24. Wonderful cookies and a beautiful photo, delicious. Un beso

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  25. I wish you a marvelous year full of good health, happiness, prosperity and blessings.

    Love & Hugs
    Duchess

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  26. Your cookies look marvellous, my dear friend!

    MMMMMMMMMM,...I wish you & your family & happy, lovely & fun 2010!!!

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  27. All the best in 2010. I will definitely be tuning again in the coming year for more well-photographed gourmet delights.

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  28. they sound so velvety and delicious!

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  29. oh this looks like heaven! i NEED to make these immediately. i'll post about it and give credit back of course ;)

    thanks for stopping by my blog!
    can't wait to see more of your stuff!

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  30. Beautiful cookies! After years of normal cookies, I stumbled upon shortbread, and am in love with it. I've often had bad cookies, but rarely bad shortbread. Can't wait to make these- just have to find a special occasion.

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  31. these look awesome. i'm bookmarking them for next Christmas. i've never made shortbread before!

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  32. I haven't tried this yet, but I love recipes with real cranberries. It's hard to find them in cookie recipes!

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