Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Get Cooking!

With just four months to go until Christmas now is the perfect time to get started on your holiday baking. I know, you're thinking it's way too hot to be stuck in the kitchen baking. Here's my solution. Make freezer cookies! These great cookies can be made ahead of time and kept in your freezer for up to four months. So, when the holidays are coming just pull out a batch, slice, bake and you'll have great cookies ready for anyone who comes to visit without all the hassle. A little prep goes a long way sometimes.

I found this great recipe from Tammy's Recipes. Head on over to find some other great holiday ideas too. Oh, and make lots! Have a few batches made because you'll want to use these cookies for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and any other family get together this fall.

Description: Cranberry Roll-up Freezer Cookies

Vanilla shortbread cookie dough, rolled and filled with homemade cranberry sauce; frozen and then sliced and baked


About 3 dozen small cookies


Cookie Dough Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cardamom, optional

Cranberry Filling Ingredients:

2 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon orange zest, optional


1. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla, stir well.

2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, and cardemom (if using). Add to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide dough in half and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 2 days.

3. Mix 1/4 cup of water with the cornstarch and set aside. Put remaining cranberry filling ingredients into a saucepan and heat on medium heat, stirring, until berries are popped. Add water/cornstarch mixture and continue heating and stirring until mixture is a thickened chunky cranberry sauce. Set aside to cool.

4. On a clean surface, sprinkle confectioner's sugar and roll each half of the dough into a 12x7-inch rectangle. Spread half of the cranberry mixture on each rectangle, to within 1 inch of the edges.

5. Roll dough gently, starting at one of the 12-inch (wide) sides (rather than at the 7-inch ends). Pinch edge and ends to seal. Carefully transfer each log to a sheet of waxed paper and wrap, securing with masking tape. Wrap each log in foil. Place in freezer for at least 1 day and up to 4 months.

6. When ready to bake cookies, remove from freezer and slice frozen logs into 1/3-inch slices using a sharp knife. Place frozen slices on greased cookie sheets and bake 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees, until done. (Edges will be only slightly browned, if at all.) Remove from cookie sheet after about 5 minutes and place on wire racks to cool.

Cranberry Roll-up Freezer Cookies
Preparation Time:

60 minutes

Cooking Time:

15-20 minutes

Tammy's Review:

These cookies are delicious and attractive, but not without some effort.

Remember to start this recipe early. The mixed dough can be chilled for several hours or even a couple days, so it's best to plan ahead and make the dough plenty early.

The filling takes just minutes to prepare. Rolling the dough is probably the only really challenging thing about this recipe. Just use plenty of powdered sugar if you're having difficulty. The dough will be soft. The logs will also be fragile, but if you place them on a flat surface in the freezer, they will harden nicely.

All that said, once these cookies are mixed up, rolled out, rolled up, and wrapped up, they're about the easiest fanciest last-minute cookie you could make! The log of dough will last a number of months in your freezer, and when you decide you need some cookies, you can have fresh cookies in about 25 minutes' time (just slice while you preheat the oven!).

Oh yeah, and they taste wonderful, too!! The cookie dough part is a soft vanilla shortbread flavor and the filling is bright and tangy. The cookies aren't very large, which explains why the recipe makes so many.

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