Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
Taste Tip: This dough must be prepared in advance.
1½ cups flour, plus extra for rolling dough
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅓ cup finely chopped fresh cranberries
½ cup ground pecans
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, and reserve.
In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla extract, and beat until thoroughly combined. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
In a small bowl, combine cranberries, pecans and orange zest.
On a lightly floured work surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough to a 10-inch square. Sprinkle cranberry mixture over dough, leaving a ½-inch border on two opposite sides. Roll dough, jelly-roll fashion, beginning at one of the borders and rolling towards the other border. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze at least 8 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap dough logs and, using a sharp knife, trim off uneven ends. Cut dough into 1/4-inch thick slices and place cookies (flat side down) 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake until lightly browned, 14 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 2 minutes and transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
2012 Finalist: Annette Poole of Prior Lake, Minnesota