3/4 cup dried cranberries;
3/4 cup green pistachios; shelled
2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
2 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup vanilla sugar*
*To make vanilla sugar,
fill a 1 quart jar with sugar. Split a vanilla bean in
half lengthwise and add both halves to the sugar.
Flavor gets better after a
couple of weeks, and it will keep as long
as regular sugar.
Layer all the
ingredients in a 1 quart canning jar. Tap gently on the
counter top to settle each layer before adding the next.
Add additional dried fruits or pistachios to fill any
gaps. Decorate after putting lid on with ribbons,
tassels, berries, sprigs of mistletoe, etc.
Beat 1/3 cup butter in
a large mixing bowl on med speed for 30 seconds. Add 2
eggs, and beat on med until well combined. Stir in
contents of jar just until combined using a wooden
spoon. Divide into 2 loaves on cookie sheet, chilling if
necessary to make dough easier to handle. Each loaf
should be about 9 inches long and 2 inches wide. Bake at
375F for 25-30 min or until a toothpick inserted in the
center comes out clean. Cool on sheet for 1 hour. Cut
each loaf diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices using a
serrated (bread) knife. Place slices on an ungreased
cookie sheet. Bake at 325F for 8 minutes, then turn over
and bake for 8-10 minutes more or until dry and crisp.
Transfer to wire rack to cool. Makes 32.
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