These cookies are wonderful for the holidays, a family get-together or any time you want to make an impression! The nuts are wonderful with the cranberries and in the buttery setting of these simple (and deceptively complex-looking) cookies. You can use ready-made cranberry jam or ready-made cookie dough to save on time.
1 1/4 cupFisher® Walnut Halves and Pieces, divided
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 grates orange zest
1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries, washed and dried
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 cinnamon stick
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Make the cookie batter: Place ¾ cup walnuts into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they are finely ground; remove them from the bowl and set aside. Place the butter and sugar in the food processor. Process until well blended and light yellow. Scrape down the sides and add the egg and vanilla. Blend until they are thoroughly incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and add the flour, baking powder, salt, orange zest and reserved walnuts. Pulse until the flour is just incorporated. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly until it forms a ball, flatten it, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Make the jam: In a small pot, stir together the cranberries, sugar, water, cinnamon stick and nutmeg. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken. Strain out the cranberries and transfer them to the bowl of the food processor. Pour the liquid back in the pot and reduce it by half so it’s more syrupy. Add the liquid to the food processor with ½ cup walnuts and pulse to blend until the jam is only slightly chunky. Refrigerate until cold.
Roll the cookies: On a flat, floured surface, roll the dough into a 10 by 15-inch rectangle. Spread the cranberry jam in an even layer, leaving a 1-inch edge on all sides. Roll up carefully and tightly, like a jelly roll to form a 15-inch long log. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Bake the cookies: Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut the dough into ½ inch thick slices and arrange them (with some distance between each) on a baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until edges are light brown.