Christmas Sandies

Colorful butter cookies signal a great start to the season.

By The Editors

Better Homes & Gardens Very Merry Cookies

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An infusion of sweet-tart dried cranberries make these butter cookies from Better Homes & Gardens Very Merry Cookies (Wiley) really sing. Kids can pitch in by rolling the dough in nonpareils before everything is placed in the oven. For extra fun, try using different colors and letting children design their own rainbow-hued treats.

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
1⁄2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup finely chopped dried cranberries (see note)
2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
White, red, and green nonpareils

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in the vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour, the cranberries, and lemon peel. (Use your hands to work in flour if mixture seems crumbly.)

2. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in nonpareils to coat. Place balls 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheet.

3. Bake about 15 minutes or until bottoms of cookies are light brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.

Note:
To chop dried cranberries, place them in a food processor; cover and process until finely chopped. Or, finely chop them by hand.

To Make Ahead and Store:
Layer cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Makes 36 Cookies

Excerpted from Better Homes and Gardens Very Merry Cookies © 2011. Reprinted with permission of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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