Cranberry Gem Shortbread with White Chocolate Chunks

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When I was a young girl and first starting to bake, I LOOVED reading through cookbooks to hunt for interesting recipes.  I could sit for hours and read cookbooks, bookmarking the recipes that caught my eye.  In fact, I still love to treasure hunt through cookbooks!  Anyways, through my recipe searches I found a basic shortbread cookie recipe.  Since I was just starting out learning to bake, I made the shortbread cookies for my family during the holidays and everyone loved them!  Over the years I’ve made some tweaks to the recipe and added my own twists, but it’s now a recipe I make every year for my family during the winter season! And one of my uncles loves them so much, he requests them every year when my family gets together! 🙂 My Cranberry Gem Shortbread with White Chocolate Chunks are a hit with my family and I hope your family loves them too!

To make these jeweled delicacies, start by bringing your unsalted butter up to room temperature.  In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in your stand mixer, beat your softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  I usually beat the butter-sugar mixture for about 5 minutes, scraping the bowl a couple of times to make sure everything gets mixed completely.  It will be a very pale yellow color when it’s been mixed enough!

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Add your vanilla and mix until fully incorporated.  Then, add your flour in batches until your mixture has become a thick cookie dough.  By the time almost all of the flour has been added, I usually have to ditch the hand mixer and use a rubber spatula (or my hands) to finish the job of mixing all the flour in.

Last but certainly not least, add in your dazzling dried cranberries (GEMS!) and chunks of white chocolate.  You can either use a sharp knife to cut the white chocolate bars into chunks or break them into pieces with your hands.  Whichever is your preference will work!

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On a flat surface, lay out a large piece of wax paper and place your shortbread dough in a line in the center.  Using the wax paper, wrap the cookie dough and roll it into a log shape.  Try to get the dough as even and round as possible.

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Using a sharp knife, cut the cookie dough log into 40 even slices.  Lay out the cookies on a sheet pan and place them in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.  Preheat your oven to 350*F.  Place the cookie dough slices onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes.  You will know the cookies are ready when the bottoms start to become golden brown.

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When the sparkling sweet treats have cooled completely, it’s dippin’ time! Line a sheet pan with wax paper.  Place your white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat it for 15 second intervals (stirring after each interval) until the chocolate is smooth and creamy.  Dip half of each shortbread cookie in the melted white chocolate.  Scrape off any excess chocolate on the side of the bowl and place the cookies on the wax paper lined sheet pan.  Sprinkle your decorations of choice on the white chocolate to add your own unique embellishment to these jeweled beauties!

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Let the cookies rest on the wax paper at room temperature until the chocolate has set.  Once the chocolate is firm to the touch, you are ready to enjoy these gorgeous treats!  They are perfect to make any time of the year, as well as pretty treats to give as gifts to a loved one!  This is a favorite recipe of my family, so I hope your family enjoys them too! 🙂

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Cranberry Gem Shortbread with White Chocolate Chunks

Yields: 40 Cookies

Prep Time: 20 Minutes (and 1 Hour Chill Time in Fridge)

Bake Time: 15 Minutes

Ingredients

1 Cup Granulated Sugar

2 Cups (4 Sticks) Unsalted Butter, Softened

1 1/4 Tablespoons Vanilla

4 Cups All-Purpose Flour

8 Ounces (2 x 4 ounce bars) White Chocolate

1 3/4 Cups Dried Cranberries

1 1/2 Cups White Chocolate Chips

Sprinkles/Decorations

 

To Make the Cookies

Bring your unsalted butter up to room temperature.  In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in your stand mixer, beat your softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  (Approximately 5 minutes.)  Add your vanilla and mix until fully incorporated.  Then, add your flour in batches until your mixture has become a thick cookie dough.  Add in your dried cranberries (GEMS!) and chunks of white chocolate.  You can either use a sharp knife to cut the white chocolate bars into chunks or break them into pieces with your hands.  On a flat surface, lay out a large piece of wax paper and place your shortbread dough in a line in the center.  Using the wax paper, wrap the cookie dough and roll it into a log shape.  Using a sharp knife, cut the cookie dough log into 40 even slices.  Lay out the cookies on a sheet pan and place them in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.  Preheat your oven to 350*F.  Place the cookie dough slices onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes.  Let the cookies cool completely.  Line a sheet pan with wax paper.  Place your white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat it for 15 second intervals (stirring after each interval) until the chocolate is smooth and creamy.  Dip half of each shortbread cookie in the melted white chocolate.  Scrape off any excess chocolate on the side of the bowl and place the cookies on the wax paper lined sheet pan.  Sprinkle your decorations of choice on the white chocolate. Let the cookies rest on the wax paper at room temperature until the chocolate has set.  Once the chocolate is firm to the touch, you are ready to enjoy these gorgeous treats!

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Now, don’t mind me while I enjoy the last afternoon sunshine and a cookie…  🙂

 

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