Christmas cookies don’t have to be complicated, but it is always nice to put a little something extra in them that you might not include the rest of the year. For instance, instead of baking a batch of plain sugar cookies, you might opt for a batch of these Cranberry, Cherry, Macadamia Nut and Pistachio Sugar Cookies. They are packed with red, white and green ingredients for an easy-to-make, yet extremely festive, holiday cookie.
I used a buttery vanilla sugar cookie recipe as my base. The cookies have a crisp outer edge and a slightly chewy interior that makes them very tasty on their own – and even tastier when they have lots of mix-ins. For the red elements, I used dried cranberries and dried cherries, both of which have a sweet-tart flavor to them. Dried cherries should be coarsely chopped before incorporating them because they tend to be quite large. For the white element, I used toasted macadamia nuts. Their buttery flavor works very well with the sugar cookie dough. For the green element, I used toasted pistachios. Unlike the macadamia nuts, the pistachios can be incorporated whole into the cookies. Untoasted pistachios may give you a brighter green color, but you will get a little extra flavor out of the toasted nuts.
Overall, there are a great mix of colors and flavors in these cookies. They look simple, but you get sweet, tart, nutty and crunchy elements in every bite! The cookies also keep quite well when stored in an airtight container, so one batch should last a few days after baking, which makes them great to keep around the house for snacking or entertaining. And because it is easy to whip up a batch of these festive drop cookies, you’ll have plenty of time for other holiday projects around the house.
Cranberry, Cherry, Macadamia Nut and Pistachio Sugar Cookies
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped, toasted macadamia nuts
1/2 cup toasted pistachios
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, gradually incorporate the flour mixture until no streaks of dry ingredients remain visible. Blend in the dried cranberries, dried cherries, toasted macadamia nuts and toasted pistachios, stirring to ensure they are evenly distributed in the cookie dough.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches between the cookies to allow for them to spread.
Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until cookies are a light golden brown around the edges. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies