I have done no Christmas shopping. I admit it’s awful. But hey, I made these cookies, which I’ll also admit is far more fun than trudging through the mall last minute. Especially when the weather is as it is. Between last night and today I’m surprised we haven’t had flooding (perhaps we have, I’m just unaware). No snow, just torrents of rain. Perfect cookie making weather. Not so good if you’re going shop to shop to buy presents.
The inspiration for this cookie came from the quick bread I made a few weeks ago. I wasn’t too thrilled by the bread, but loved the idea of fresh cranberries and cornmeal together. I also added some orange zest and molasses to liven things up. Altogether I think it’s a pretty great cookie, as is the one I’ll put up tomorrow.
I hope you’re all having a happy holidays, and cooking up some tasty food!
Fresh Cranberry and Cornmeal Icebox Cookies
Adapted from the Cream Cheese Icebox Cookies in Joy of Cooking 75th Anniversary Edition
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
11 Tablespoons soft salted butter
3 ounces cream cheese
7/8 cup sugar (1 cup minus 2 Tablespoons)
2 Tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 cup fresh cranberries (I used frozen), chopped in a food processor rough to fine (see above picture)
Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Cream butter, cream cheese, sugar and molasses together on medium speed, with either a standing or hand-held mixer, until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and orange zest. Beat until thoroughly combined. If using a stand mixer, you can then mix about 2/3 of the dry ingredients in on low to medium speed. Mix in the rest by hand. If using a hand held mixer you may have to switch to incorporating the flour by hand sooner. When some flour still remains, add the cranberries. Mix until distributed throughout, but take care not to over mix.
Chill the dough in the fridge for 1 hour. Remove from the fridge and form into an approximately 12-inch long log on top of plastic wrap. Place many layers of plastic wrap around the log and shape the log as and after you wrap it up. Place in the freezer and chill for approximately an hour or so, just so the log is firm. While it’s chilling, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. I found that I when I cut this dough it was too soft to be cut into rounds. The dough flattened out on the bottom and the cookies became rectangles. Tomorrow’s cookie dough is stiffer, so this isn’t an issue. Cut the cookies into slightly under 1/2 inch-thick slices. Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 10 minutes.