Tyler loves these cookies and requests that his mom make them every year at Christmas. I attempted to make them our first Valentine’s Day together back in 2004. It was quite a challenge to gather all the tools necessary for this recipe and then bake the cookies in my small dorm kitchen. They did not turn out very well, but I mailed them off to Tyler anyway and he ate them, only complaining a little. I think they were rock hard and crumbly by the time they got to him! I have not attempted this recipe since then.
I have a real aversion to any recipe that calls for rolling out dough. I was ready to try again though, and I made sure to follow the directions closely and work quickly once I got the dough out of the fridge. As it warms up it becomes sticky, so you have to move fast to get it prepared and rolled up. Next time I will probably chop the cranberries, walnuts, and orange rind in the food processor so I can get the pieces more finely chopped. I will also try rolling the dough out on flour covered parchment paper, since the dough started to stick to the wood cutting board I put it on. Despite my fears and struggles, these cookies look and taste very good! The combination of cranberry and orange just screams Christmas to me.
Cranberry Walnut Swirls (recipe given to me by Tyler’s mom, I believe it is originally from Southern Living)
1/2 cup butter softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cranberries
1/2 cup ground walnuts
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beating until blended. Gradually add flour, baking powder, and salt, beating until blended. Cover and chill 1 hour.
Combine cranberries, walnuts, and orange rind.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a 10-inch square. Sprinkle with cranberry mixture, leaving a 1/2-inch border on 2 opposite sides.
Roll up dough, jellyroll fashion, beginning at a bordered side. Cover and freeze 8 hours.
Cut roll into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place slices on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes (mine took exactly 11 minutes) or until bottom of cookies starts to brown. Can be frozen up to 1 month.
Made 2 1/2 dozen cookies, but that just depends on how thick you cut the dough.