Cranberry Orange Shortbread 

I know the citrus season extends beyond January, but various childhood memories always make me think of January as the month of oranges, clementines, and grapefruits. As such, this week and next week’s recipes feature citrus. Today, it’s cranberry orange shortbread on the menu! They are sure to be a welcome addition to your afternoon coffee or tea break. Check out the recipe here:

It’s rare that I love a recipe without reservation, but I LOVE these cookies. I’m already a fan of the cranberry-orange combination, but these include the delicate notes of almond extract to balance out the tart flavors. Moreover, the author is absolutely on-point to push bakers to pull the cookies from the oven at the lower end of her time range. The soft, moist texture that results from not over baking pushed the recipe over the top. I admit, I also enjoy the preparation of shortbread. There’s something so satisfying about cutting the butter into the flour-sugar mixture and kneading the dough with your hands.

I did not make any modifications to this recipe, but I did mix and match the optional ingredients. I added the orange juice (if I’m zesting the fruit, I may as well use the juice, too, right?), but I didn’t coat in additional sugar. Despite my preference for sweet over salty, I don’t like to overdo the sweetness. So often, that simply distracts from the more interesting flavors. I will admit, my cookies weren’t so sparkly and picture-perfect as the author’s, though I’m sure they tasted just as amazing.

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