Cranberry Shortbread

Shortbread is a real tea classic.  These cookies break the mold, well, by not using a shortbread mold.  The addition of the cranberries adds a nice tart contrast.

Dried Cranberry Shortbread

1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 c sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 c sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c finely chopped dried cranberries
1. Heat oven to 325oF with a rack in center.  Combine butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, flour, and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Beat with a wooden spoon until combined but not too creamy.  Stir in dried cranberries.
2. Pat dough evenly into an 8- or 9-inch-square baking pan.  Bake until just beginning to turn golden, about 20 minutes.  Place pan on cooling rack until cool enough to touch, about 20 minutes.  Run knife around edges and slice with a sharp knife.  Gently turn out of pan.  Cookies will keep for 5 days at room temperature in an airtight container.

Makes about 12-16 rectangles

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