My eldest daughter is the one who found this recipe when she was first married. We all loved it, and I've made the cookies every year since. The original recipe calls for the addition of chopped white chocolate to the dough, but I found I preferred it best without the white chocolate.
They keep well and taste even better. Buttery, with a hint of citrus, and some chewy tartness in the cranberries.
Cranberry Orange Shortbread
1/2 pound butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup icing sugar
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Cream butter and icing sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat until light. Add the orange zest, vanilla, and cranberries.
Add the flour and cornstarch and mix well.
Chill the dough for about 20 minutes if it is too soft to handle. Roll mixture into small balls and place on parchment lined baking sheets. Press the tops of the cookies with a fork that has been dipped in flour to prevent sticking.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until pale golden around the edges. Cool on a baking rack. Store tightly covered, or frozen.
Note: The original recipe called for the dough to be rolled to about 1/4 inch thickness and then cut out, but I found that the edges were often ragged because of the cranberries, so I form them into balls. Rolling is certainly an option.