January 13, 2014

Valentine's Cranberry Sauce Sandwich Cookies


 This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Carton Smart. All opinions are 100% mine.

I am a huge fan of cranberries but like most people I must admit I usually only use dried cranberries in my recipes. The only time I think to use can or even better boxed cranberry sauce is around the holidays. But when Pacific Foods sent me a few of their organic boxed products, including organic cranberry sauce, I was excited to create a recipe that was a little "out of the box" for cranberry sauce.
I experimented with sauces and dips and numerous desserts and in the end it was this cranberry filled sandwich cookie recipe that I loved the best.
This cookie is sweet and crunchy and the simple filling using Pacific foods cranberry sauce and orange zest is both sweet and tart and absolutely delicious! The best thing is these cookies can be for any event or holiday. I used heart shaped cookie cutters and made these Valentine's Day inspired but they would be adorable using Christmas cookie cutters and given at a Holiday Cookie Exchange.

I love the variety of Pacific organic products that are available in stores. I never realized how many amazing food products were available in a carton! I found these delicious Pacific products at my military commissary and the Fresh Market. #cartonsmart
Visit pacificfood.com or  becartonsmart.com for inspiration and links to on where to find more carton products.

Ingredients:

Makes approx 2-3 dozen sandwich cookies
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
  • 1 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg, plus 1 yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 carton (14 oz) Pioneer brand organic Cranberry Sauce
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tbsp sugar (optional)
  • powered sugar, for dusting

Directions:

  1.  In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, and salt.
  2. Using an electric or stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3.  Beat in the egg and yolk and then the vanilla.
  4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. 
  5. Shape the dough into 3 balls and then flatten each into disks and wrap in waxed paper.  Chill in refrigerator for at least an hour. 
  6. Heat oven to 350 degrees. 
  7. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  8.  Dust 1 dough disk with flour and place between 2 large sheets of waxed paper. 
  9. Roll out the dough to desired thickness, I did about 1/4 inch thick. 
  10. Use a shaped cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Using a smaller cutter, cut out the centers of half the cookies (optional). Work fast before the dough gets too soft! 
  11. Re roll the scraps and fold in waxed paper and refrigerate for another 10-20 minutes and then use again once hardened.
  12. Transfer the cookies to the baking sheet and bake until the edges of the cookies are golden, about 10 minutes. 
  13.  Transfer to wire racks to cool. Repeat with the remaining 2 disks, then roll out, cut, chill, and bake the scraps in the same manner.
  14.  Dust the cutout tops with powdered sugar.
  15. Open container of cranberry sauce and pour in a small saucepan. 
  16. Heat over low and stir until broken up.
  17. Add orange zest and mix until spreadable and mostly smooth.
  18. Optional: if you want the cranberry sauce sweeter (If you are using a brand like Pacific that does not add any additional sweeteners) add 1 tbsp sugar and mix until dissolved. 
  19. Spread the cranberry sauce on the bottoms of half of the cookies, spreading it lightly at the edges. Top with the remaining powdered sugar dusted cookies.

    Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

    Cookie dough recipe adapted from Williams Sonoma.
    Sift cake flour, cornstarch, and salt together in a bowl. 
    Don't have cake flour?
     You can use all purpose flour but we prefer baking 
    with cake flour to get the great soft and fluffy texture!
    Separate one egg and reserve the yolk for this recipe.
    Cream the butter and sugar then add egg and yolk and vanilla.
    Reduce mixer speed and slowly add the flour mixture.
    Shape the dough into 3 balls and then flatten each into disks and wrap in waxed paper.  
    Chill in refrigerator for at least an hour.
    Dust 1 dough disk with flour and place between 2 large sheets of waxed paper.
    Roll out to desired thickness.
    Use shaped cookie cutters, cut out cookies and place on lined baking sheets.
    I used a small cookie cutter and cut out shapes in the middle of half of the cookies.
    Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, until lightly golden.

    Let cool on a cooling rack.
    Dust tops of cookies with powdered sugar.
    Heat cranberry sauce in a saucepan over low and stir until broken up.
    Add orange zest and mix until spreadable and mostly smooth.
    Optional: if you want the cranberry sauce sweeter (if you are using a brand like Pacific that does not add any additional sweeteners) add 1 tbsp sugar and mix until dissolved. 
    Spread the cranberry sauce on the bottoms of half of the cookies.

    Top with the remaining powdered sugar dusted cookies.


    The perfect sweet and tart crunchy cookie for any holiday!
    Surprise your sweetie and serve these on Valentine's Day!
    Comment below and tell me how will you be #CartonSmart for the upcoming holidays!
    Check out www.pacificfood.com to find out what stores near you carry their products.
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