Cranberry Gems

Cranberry Gems_8 on Whisk Together

Book Update: I am into chapter 5 of “Happy Money” and really enjoy it.  The book is basically similar to most of my positive psychology books only this one focuses solely on money.  Not how to save it necessarily, but how to spend it so that you get the most happiness out of it.  Here is a summary:

Chapter One:  Buy Experiences.  Instead of trying to buy the bigger, newer things that really won’t seem “new” and “awesome” two hours later, buy experiences that will be talked about and treasured for years to come.  I thought I would disagree with this… but their argument makes sense.  Now off to plan that trip to Orange Beach 🙂
Chapter Two: Make It a Treat.   Having something all the time limits our appreciation.  This goes along with a European way of thinking and eating whereas Americans are “more, more, more” and “bigger, bigger,  bigger” in general.
Chapter Three: Buy Time.  Focus more on time than money.   Money makes people cold and irrational.  Time makes us focus on more happiness.
Chapter Four:  Pay Now, Consume Later.   I know I know.  It sounds completely insane, but the argument is very good.  Basically, we pay first and then the product comes later.  The anticipation is often more rewarding than the actual item or vacation/experience anyway.  Plus, people are less likely to overspend.

Recipe Update:  Each Christmas I try a couple of new recipes for my Christmas cookie boxes.  This was one of them since I had lots of other chocolate items anyway.  They were very easy to put together and the reviews on King Arthur’s website are crazy!  You definitely need to like dried cranberries.  I added some orange flavor for depth, but the original recipe leaves it out.  The sprinkles here are from Walmart.  Target and Michaels sells them under the Wilton brand as “sparkling sugar” and King Arthur Flour also sells them.  The sprinkles are GREAT!!!!  Use them on muffins, scones, cookies or anything you like to look fancy.

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Cranberry Gems
2-3 dozen cookies (3 dozen using 1″ size/1″ size cookie dough balls)

1 cup white whole wheat flour, or AP flour
1 and 1/2 cups (7 oz.) dried cranberries, packed
2 Tb. powdered sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 Tb. cold butter, cut up
3 Tb. milk or orange juice
1 tsp. orange zest

Topping:  1/2 cup sparkling sugar

1.  Add flour and dried cranberries to the food processor.  Run the processor for 1-2 minutes.  The cranberries should look like they are each cut into 3-4 pieces.  This took longer than I expected!
2.  In a great big bowl (or if you have a great big food processor):  add the flour and cranberry mix, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Mix.
3.  Add vanilla and butter.  Cut in the butter to pea -size crumbles.
4.  Mix and add milk or orange juice and zest.  Keep mixing and the dough finally becomes… well, a dough.
5.  I always refrigerator my dough.  I did for about 1-2 hours.
6.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put the sparkling sugar in a bowl or bag.  Scoop cookie dough by 1-2 teaspoon size balls.  Add balls to the sugar to coat.

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7.  Use the flat end of a glass and press down on each cookie dough ball until slightly flattened.  I should have done about 1/2″.  This is about 1/4″ and too flat.

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8.  Bake 14-16 minutes.  You should see just a little, itty bitty bit of brown on the edges.  Cool and eat.

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

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