You know you have an entrenched family tradition when your grandson starts asking for this holiday cookie in late September.
You may note be able to tell from the picture, but that recipe card is stained and yellowed, a mark of both its age and its heavy usage. (You also can’t tell that this recipe was a finalist in the Chicago Tribune Christmas cookie contest in 2005, but it was.)
I’ve been making this recipe in December since my own children were little. But during the last few years, it makes an appearance as soon as cranberries appear in stores because it is a favorite of my two grandsons.
This year, my 10 y/o grandson helped me mix the first of what will likely be a regular series of batches that will carry us from mid-November through the new year. The whole delicious point of a food tradition is to take us back and help us remember who we are and where we’ve been together. These cookies are full of good memories for me…and now, to a second generation.
Here’s the recipe in case you want to add it to your own holiday repertoire.
Cranberry-Chocolate Chip Ribbon Cookies
1-1/2 C cranberries
1/2 C sugar
3 T orange juice
1 t orange peel
Combine first three ingredients in 4 C glass bowl, then cover with plastic wrap. Nuke for 6 minutes, stirring once. Mix in peel and let cool slightly.
3/4 C softened butter
2/3 C sugar
1 t vanilla
2 C flour
1/2 t baking powder
pinch of salt
1 C mini chocolate chips
Mix butter and sugar together until blended. Add vanilla and egg to mixture, beating by hand until combined. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt until dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Mix in chocolate chips.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Divide dough into four parts. Shape each portion into a log approximately 12″ x 3/4″ and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Use your finger to press a depression the length of each log. Spoon cranberry filling into the depression.
Bake 20-30 minutes, until lightly browned. While the bars are still warm, cut on the diagonal into 1″ strips.