These cookies have a great chewy crisp texture and are loaded with fruit flavor..They keep well, if you can keep people out of the cookie jar..I have made these with alternate fruit flavors..all are winners.. **THE CRANBERRY CHERRY FILLING CAN BE MADE AHEAD AND REFRIGERATED UP TO 4 DAYS BEFORE MAKING COOKIE DOUGH..
CRANBERRY CHERRY FILLING
- 3⁄4 cup dried sweetened cranberries (3 oz)
- 1⁄3 cup sour cherry jam or 1⁄3 cup preserves
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1⁄8 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups all-purpose white flour, plus
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose white flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
- 2⁄3 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 1 large egg
- 2 1⁄4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 teaspoon almond extract
- In a food processor, process the cranberries, jam or preserves, and sugar until coarsely pureed.
- Transfer the mixture to a small, heavy saucepan.
- Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until it just comes to a boil, immediately remove from the heat.
- Let stand until cooled slightly. Stir in the almond extract.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until well chilled, or freeze for 30 minutes, to speed chilling.(the filling may be refrigerated for up to 4 days, return to room temperature before using.
- In a medium bowl, thoroughly stir together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the sugar and butter until well blended and smooth. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract and beat till well blended. Beat or stir in flour mixture just until evenly incorporated. Let the dough stand for 10 minutes, or until firmed up slightly.
- Line a 4 1/2"x8 1/2" loaf pan with aluminum foil, letting the foil overhang the long sides by about 3", this will keep the plastic wrap surrounding the dough from sticking to the pan. On top of the foil, line the pan with two long sheets of plastic wrap laid crosswise, overlapping the middle and overhanging the longer sides by almost 4". Divide the dough into 4 portions. Working on a large sheet of wax paper, roughly pat each portion into the shape of the loaf pan. Pat one dough portion firmly into the pan bottom, forming a smooth, even layer. Using a rubber spatula, spread one third of the filling over the dough in the pan, the filling may seem stiff, but spread it as evenly as possible. Repeat the layers, using all four dough portions and all the fruit filling. Fold the plastic wrap over the dough. Freeze until the loaf is cold and very firm, at least 1 1/2 hours and preferably longer.The dough can then be transferred to a plastic bag and frozen for up to one month.
- Preheat the oven to 350*. Greaze several baking sheets or use nonstick spray.
- Carefully peel the plastic wrap from the loaf. .using a large, sharp knife, trim off and discard the excess dough so the sides of the loaf are straight up and down, rather than flared; wipe the knife clean between cuts (if the loaf is too hard to cut easily, let stand for a few minutes, don't let it thaw too much, or it will be more difficult to slice cleanly. Carefully cut the loaf crosswise into thirds, forming three 2 3/4x4" blocks. Working with one block at a time, keep others refrigerated, cut each third into 1/4" slices to produce 2 3/4" long ribbons, wipe the knife clean between cuts. Using a spatula, carefully transfer the slices to the baking sheets, placing them cut side up about 2" apart. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time in the upper third of the oven, reversing sheets halfway through baking from front to back to ensure even browning for 9-14 minutes or just until slightly darker at the edges. Using a spatula, immediately transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to one month.