…or “Short(bread) Circuit” because technically these are supposed to be shortbread. However, I’m incredibly incredibly picky with what I deem shortbread, so, not sure really if it’s an appropriate title in this case, but I don’t care because honestly? In the words of Ned Flanders, they tasted rather scrum-diddly-umptious and I would totally make them again. I accidentally overbaked them a bit, so that’s probably the main reason I find it difficult to call them shortbread. I didn’t even listen to my own instructions on how long I should keep them in the oven. However, if this happens to you, don’t despair! The resulting ever so slightly crunchy cookie was in absolutely no way disappointing (and dare I say better? Scandalous, but I think I do). If you are also desiring slightly crunchy cookies (but on purpose!), just roll the cookies slightly thinner and bake for about 5 minutes or so longer than I recommend below and you’ll be all set. I’m going to tell myself that my error was on par with Alexander Fleming’s accidental discovery of penicillin (fun factoid – he initially named pencillin “mould juice”. I truly cannot comprehend how that name wasn’t adopted). That’s a totally fair comparison right? 😉 )
In an effort to cover a myriad of perceived sins due to “overbaking” these, after taking my first few photos, I opted to dust them with icing sugar, so that all that your eye will perceive prior to consumption is some sweet sweet cookie goodness. Although it’s obviously no longer Christmas, I thought it made these look super seasonal. Which, as it is still winter, I suppose could still be considered fitting (although I hate being reminded of snow generally speaking, I suppose I can make an exception for snow made of icing sugar 😉 ).
See? Don’t they look prettier now? All dressed up in their wedding whites…or something else romantic and clever? Whatever, stop judging and just eat them 😉 .
So, in addition to being “shortbready” (which is obviously way too boring an undertaking for me. What do you mean make a cookie with only 3 or 4 ingredients? Blasphemy. “How can we complicate this up?” I asked myself. Well, I love cranberries, and cranberries go great with almonds. Also, I love soaking things in alcohol, so lets take some dried cranberries, soak them in a mix of amaretto and crème de cacao, mix those as well as some chopped almonds for texture and taste into your batter and you’ve got yourself a cookie. Oh, and you know what else goes with cranberries? Orange. So why not zest a little of that flavour in as well. And what goes with orange? If my good friend Terry (of chocolate orange fame. Oh childhood nostalgia) knows what he’s doing (which I like to think he does after almost a century of successful sales. Fun side note – Terry’s first orb-like fruit flavoured chocolate was actually a chocolate apple:
which they stopped producing in 1954 because the orange was so much more successful), then dipping this baby in chocolate can’t possibly steer you wrong (although really, assuming you’re using half decent quality chocolate – real chocolate, none of this “chocolate confection” Scheisse – anything dipped in chocolate can’t steer you wrong).
So bring it on – brew yourself up a delicious cup of tea or coffee, and make it a million times better by having it alongside these cookies.
Don’t Shortchange yourself 😉 .
Yield: 3 dozen
- 1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
- Chocolate liqueur
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cane sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup vegan butter, chilled in the freezer for 1 hour (or longer)
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds, chopped
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
- 1/4 cup whole slivered almonds (for topping)
- icing sugar for dusting
- Place cranberries in a small bowl and cover with a mix of amaretto and chocolate liqueur (I did 3 parts amaretto to 1 part chocolate). Allow to soak for at least an hour, but ideally several days if you have the time)
- Preheat oven to 300F and line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper (or grease).
- (You can also do the following steps in a mixing bowl, but in order to allow the butter to stay as cold as possible, I recommend and used a food processor). Add flour, both sugars, and salt to food processor and pulse briefly to combine. Add vegan butter in chunks, pulse a few times until butter is no bigger than pea sized crumbs. add almond extract, orange zest, cardamon and cloves and pulse very briefly to mix in.
- Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in alcohol soaked cranberries (If the liquid hasn’t been mostly absorbed by the cranberries, be sure to strain them first) and chopped slivered almonds.., and mix together by hand until pea-sized crumbs forms. Add almond extract, almonds, and cranberries and mix to combine.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll cookies out to about 1/4 inch thick. Using a 2-inch circular cookie cutter (or whatever you like – if your cookies are very large though, they might need a bit more cooking time), but out cookies, re-rolling when necessary to use up all the dough.
- Bake cookies for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown. Let sit on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a plate or cooling rack.
- Once cookies are cooled, line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper.
- Place chocolate in a small bowl and microwave for about 1 minutes. Remove and stir until fully melted.
- Dip half of each cookie into the melted chocolate, place onto a baking sheet, and sprinkle with whole slivered almonds.
- Once chocolate has set, dust with icing sugar if desired.