Shortbread has always been a holiday tradition here at the manor. Maybe it's because both WT and I descend from the Scottish Lowlands, that we like it so much. Despite the fact that shortbread was prepared during much of the 12th century, the refinement of shortbread was actually accredited to Mary, Queen of Scots, in the 16th century. The name of one of the most famous and most traditional forms of shortbread, petticoat tails, were named by Queen Mary.
My traditional homemade shortbread is baked in a round pan and cut into wedges. This year, I tried a delicious new shortbread recipe posted by the charming Kary, over at My Farmhouse Kitchen, which is formed into logs and sliced. It was a huge hit at Thanksgiving, and I'm making a triple batch for Christmas, as well. The cranberries and walnuts add the perfect blend of textures and flavors, and it's super easy to make.
I store them in my latest Goodwill find, a vintage etched glass lidded dish I found for $4.99. A steal!
Cranberry Walnut Shortbread Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1. Beat butter, confectioner's sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add flour and salt, stir till just combined. Stir in dried cranberries and walnuts. Divide dough into half.
2. On parchment or waxed paper, shape each portion into a log and wrap. Chill 1 hour or up to 1 day.
3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. With a sharp knife slice dough into 1/4 inch slices.
4. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake about 16 minutes. Let cookies cool on sheets and transfer to wire racks. Store in an airtight cookie tin. Makes about 3 dozen.