What is it about Holiday baking?

It’s the indefinable scent of sugar, butter and spices wafting from the oven and falling like a soft cloud of sweetness, covering every nook and cranny of your home. And, it’s the childhood memory of anticipating that first buttery bite as the object of fondness finds its way through the creative cycle of mixing, baking and decorating.

Growing up I always found the intersection of art and food so thrilling this time of year. And that magic of transforming ingredients into beautiful, edible works of art continues to inform my baking. Every year I pour over hundreds of cookie recipes, carefully choosing the year’s selection by balancing flavors, shapes and colors to create a final canvas of artfully assembled sweet delicacies, always hoping to reflect the magic of Season.

My theme  this year was fruit and nuts, and I have included a delicious cranberry cookie recipe below. The dried cranberries and coconut make this a welcomed gift anytime of year.

Wishing You All A Happy, Joyous Holiday Season.


Coconut Cranberry Cookies

Makes 6 doz cookies

Preheat oven to 350℉

1 1/2 cups butter room temp (3/4 lb)
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 teaspoons vanilla

In a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed, beat butter, sugar, orange peel, and vanilla until smooth.


3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt.


Add flour mixture to butter mixture, stir to mix by hand, then beat on low speed until dough comes together in a smooth mass, about 5 minutes. (The mixture will look dry until it comes together as a dough. If it is too crumbly to form into balls, the dough needs to be mixed longer).


1 1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 cup sweetened flaked dried coconut

Mix in cranberries and coconut.


Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place about 2″ apart on  lightly sprayed baking sheet (do not use parchment).

Bake at 350℉ until cookie edges begin to brown, 8-11 minutes. Shorter baking time will yield chewier cookie.

If baking  2 sheets at once in one oven, switch their positions halfway through the baking.

Cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks.

Dust with powdered sugar (optional).

From Sunset Magazine published sometime during the last decade!