Pistachio Cranberry Icebox Cookies were a hit with my husband. He really enjoyed these cookies. They have beautiful red cherries and green pistachios which make these a lovely Christmas cookie to try. Pistachio Cranberry Icebox cookies are worth making as they taste wonderful and look great on a holiday buffet table. They also work on an afternoon tea menu with their interesting look and square shape.
You are probably asking – What is an Icebox Cookie? It is a type of cookie where the dough, often in a log shape, is refrigerated until firm before being sliced for baking. Also known as Refrigerator Cookie. In the 1930s, with the advent of electric refrigerators, icebox cookies reached new heights of popularity.
I have changed the original recipe to include the egg in the dough. I also used the dried tart cherries in place of cranberries on occasion. For variety you can use many different types of dried fruit and nuts in this recipe.
More favorite Cookie Recipes and Secrets To Making Perfect Cookies. Also learn How To Have A Successful Holiday Cookie Exchange or Cookie Swap.
- 1 1/2 cups flour (all-purpose)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar (granulated
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon orange zest (rind), fresh and finely grated
- 1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) pistachio nuts, unsalted and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries or dried tart cherries
- 1/4 cup decorative sugar (preferably coarse)
In a large bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, and salt.
In another bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar, beaten egg, and orange zest with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in three (3) batches, mixing until dough just comes together in clumps; mix in pistachio nuts and cranberries.
Gather and press dough together into a log shape. Using a sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper as an aid, form each piece of dough into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Square off long sides of each log to form a bar. Sprinkle decorative sugar over the bars and press into the sugar, coating well. Refrigerate, wrapped in plastic wrap, until very firm, at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put oven rack in upper and lower thirds of oven. Line two (2) large baking sheets with parchment paper or silpads.
Using a sharp knife, cut each bar crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices, rotating bar after cutting each slice to help keep the square shape. NOTE: If dough gets too soft to slice, freeze bars briefly until firm. Arrange cookies about 1/2-inch apart on the lined baking sheets.
Bake cookies, switching position of baking sheets halfway through baking, until edges are pale golden, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Dough bars can be refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil, for 1 month. Thaw frozen dough in the refrigerator just until dough can be sliced. Cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days.
Variation: Use dried apricot in place of the cranberries.
Source: This recipe and photo are from the December 2006 Gourmet Magazine.