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Cranberry Pecan Shortbread

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A delicious star-studded cookie packed with flavour that simply melts in your mouth. You will need a stand mixer to make this cookie. You can bake the cookies all at once, or keep the logs in the fridge or freezer and bake as needed. This is a variation on Aunt Ester’s Shortbread, originally submitted by Chef Curtis Straub.

Makes about 36 shortbread

1 lb salted butter, softened

1 ¼ cups packed icing sugar

3 ½ cups all-purpose flour

6 tbsp cornstarch

¼ tsp salt

1 cup chopped dried cranberries

1 cup chopped pecans

2 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup granulated sugar, for dusting

In a large mixer bowl, cream the butter and the icing sugar until fluffy.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch and salt. Gradually add the mixture to the creamed butter, a third at a time on low speed. Increase speed to medium-high and beat the batter for a full 10 minutes. The batter will resemble heavily beaten whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Reduce the speed to low and add in the cranberries, pecans and vanilla. Combine well.

Tear off three long strips of plastic wrap. Divide the dough into three and place large spoonfuls of the dough along in the centre of each strip to create a log about 2” thick. Use floured hands to roughly shape the dough in a uniform log. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, using your hands to even out the shape of the log; refrigerate several hours, until firm. The dough can also be frozen at this point and baked later.

Preheat oven to 275°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment. Unwrap one of the logs and cut it into ¼” thick rounds. Dip both sides of each round in granulated sugar. Place on the cookie sheet. Bake for 35 minutes. Cookies will not brown – you want them to be white, like snow. Let cool on the pan before removing to a wire rack. Let cool on the baking sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining logs.

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