Christmas Refrigerator Sliced Cookies

These cookies contain both pistachios and cranberries and are perfect for the Holidays.  You can use cherries instead of cranberries.  The pistachios give the cookie a green color and are the best nut to use for the red and green holiday effect.   The original recipe is from Gourmet Magazine.  We first baked the cookies in 2008 and they went on our A list.

1 ½ cups all purpose
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ stick of butter (3/4 cup), softened
¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest
½ cup shelled pistachios
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup decorative sugar (preferably coarse)

Stir the flour, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl.  Beat together butter, granulated sugar, and zest in a mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy (about 3 minutes).  Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing until dough just comes together in clumps.  Then, mix in the pistachios and cranberries.

Gather and press dough together and divide into two equal pieces.  Form each piece of the dough into a log about 1 ½ inches in diameter.  Square off the long sides of each log to form a bar.  Chill in wrapped plastic wrap until firm (at least 2 hours).  Dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days in plastic wrap.

Heat the oven to 350oF with rack in upper third of oven.  Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Brush egg over all 4 long sides of the bars but not the ends.  Sprinkle with decorative sugar on a separate sheet of parchment or wax paper and press bars into sugar, coating well.

Cut each bar crosswise in ¼ inch slices, rotating bar after cutting each slice to keep square shape.  Arrange cookies about ½ inch apart on lined baking sheets.  Bake cookies (rotating cookie sheet once) until edges are pale golden, 15 to 18 minutes total.  Transfer cookies to rack and cool completely.

~ 36 cookies.

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