We participated in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap this year for the first time!! We sent these Cranberry Lemon Sandwiches out to 3 lovely fellow food bloggers in Iowa, Michigan and Illinois. These cookies are one of our families favorite holiday treat. My sister Kelly has been making them for Christmas for the last 6 years, so when we signed up for this event I knew exactly which cookie we should bake.
We got 2 batches of cookies back from other food bloggers. On the left you have Vanilla Cardamom Cookies from Molly of Bites and Bytes who is studying hard for college finals. I had never had Cardamon before, which has a floral after-taste, I found them refreshing and different. The cookies on the right are Dark Chocolate Cherry Berry Oatmeal Cookies from Beth of It's Good to be the Cook who lives in Philly. The name alone has me completely in love with this version of a traditional oatmeal cookie. They are chunky yet still soft and in my opinion can be classified as healthy which is helpful considering they are too good to have just one. Thanks ladies!!
Makes about 3 dozen sandwiches
Ingredients for Cookies:
1 Cup Butter - Softened
1 Cup Shortening
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
4 Cups Flour
1 Tsp Cream of Tartar
1 Tsp Grated Lemon Peel
1/2 Tsp Salt
3/4 Cups Craisins
1/2 Cup Sugar for Flattening
Ingredients for Filling:
2/3 Cup Butter - Softened
2 3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
1/4 Cup Whole Milk
1 1/4 Tsp Grated Lemon Peel
Adapted from: Christmas Cookies & Candies Holiday 2006 - Taste of Home Magazine
In your stand mixer bowl combine the softened butter, sugars and shortening until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Then beat in the vanilla.
In a large bowl combine the flour, cream of tartar, salt and lemon peel. Since you're putting lemon peel in both the dough and filling, we suggest buying 2 lemons depending on their size. Mix everything together and gradually add the dry ingredients to the stand mixer in 3 or 4 additions, beating after each addition. Stir in the Craisins so they are well distributed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or freeze for about 40 minutes until the dough is easy to handle.
When the dough is ready to be handled, preheat the oven to 350 F. Take about a Tsp of the dough and roll it into 1 inch balls using your hands. Place the balls about 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.Get a flat bottomed round drinking glass out of the cabinet. Pour about a 1/2 cup of sugar into a shallow dish. Dip the bottom of the glass in the sugar and use the sugared glass to flatten your dough balls into discs. Dip the glass back into the bowl of sugar in between each cookie.
Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove the cookies from the baking sheets and cool them on wire racks.
While the cookies are baking or cooling you can make the filling. In the stand mixer bowl combine the remaining softened butter, powdered sugar, milk and lemon peel. Beat until smooth.
When the cookies have fully cooled it's time to make the sandwiches. Don't worry you will have enough of the filing to make all of the sandwiches, it doesn't look like it but a little bit goes a long way.
Match up cookies that are similar sizes. Using a knife spread about a 1/2 Tsp of filing on half of the cookies you've baked. Keep the cookies with the filling as the bottom part of the sandwich and top with the remaining cookies.
Enjoy!! - Nicole & Susan
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