Easy Cranberry-Pecan Sandwich Cookies
Cookie swaps? Holiday parties? Aunt Jackie’s house? Erin McDowell’s easy cranberry-pecan sandwich cookies are the answer.
“These buttery cookies have a hint of nuttiness and a little touch of salt, which makes their slightly sour cranberry filling even more delectable,” the author of The Fearless Baker told us.
You can always use store-bought jam to save time, but we love how this homemade version makes our house smell like a holiday wonderland.
6 ounces (170g) pecans
2 sticks (227g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1½ cups (181g) all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
Confectioners’ sugar, as needed
10 ounces (283g) cranberries (thawed if frozen)
½ cup (99g) granulated sugar
½ cup (99g) light brown sugar
Zest and juice of 1 orange
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of fine sea salt
1. Make the Cookies: In the bowl of a food processor, grind the pecans into a fine powder. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix well to combine.
3. Add the flour, pecan mixture and salt, and mix to combine. Scrape the bowl well to ensure everything is homogenous. Transfer the mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and form into a 1-inch-thick disk. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 1½ hours or overnight.
4. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled dough to ¼ inch thick. Use a 2-inch round cutter (fluted is extra cute) to cut 24 circles from the dough (you can reroll a few times as needed).
5. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Transfer the cookies to the baking sheets and chill for 15 minutes. Bake the cookies until they are lightly browned at the edges, 15 to 17 minutes.
6. Dust 12 of the cookies with confectioners’ sugar while still warm. Cool completely.
7. Make the Filling: In a medium pot, stir together the cranberries, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, orange zest and juice, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and sea salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the berries burst and begin to break down, 8 to 10 minutes.
8. Puree the mixture with an immersion blender in the pot, or transfer to a blender or food processor and process until the mixture is a coarse puree. Return the mixture to the pot and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened slightly, 5 to 7 minutes.
9. Turn over the un-sugared cookies and scoop a heaping tablespoon of filling on top. Sandwich each with a sugared cookie and gently press together.