Day 4-Giada's Dried Cherries and Almond Cookies with Vanilla Icing

I found this recipe of Giada's when I was browsing the Food Network website for new Christmas cookie ideas. That's one of the things that I love doing at the holidays-combining old and new traditions, culinary or otherwise. I absolutely love anything cherry related, and I was very excited to find this recipe. It was very easy to make, and the kitchen smelled so delicious!
Source: Food Network



  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped dried tart cherries (see Cook's Note)
  • 1/2 cup slivered, blanched almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped (see Cook's Note)


  • 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons water, plus extra, as needed

1. For the cookies: In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, cinnamon, and salt until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
2. Beat in the egg.
 3. Add the flour and beat on the lowest speed until just blended.
4. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the dried cherries and almonds.
5. Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap and shape it into a log, about 12-inches long and 1 1/2-inches in diameter.
6. Wrap the dough in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (Dough can be made up to 3 days in advance).
7. Arrange an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 heavy baking sheets with parchment paper.
8. Cut the log crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices.
9. Transfer the dough slices to the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1-inch apart.
10. Bake until the cookies are golden around the edges and puffed, about 15 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before icing, about 30 minutes.
11. For the icing: Put the powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the vanilla extract and water, adding more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the mixture becomes a drizzling consistency. (Makes about 2/3 cups icing, enough to ice both variations.)

12. Put the cooled cookies on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Using a spoon or a fork, drizzle the cookies with the icing, allowing any excess icing to drip onto the baking sheet. Allow the icing to set before serving, about 1 hour.
Cook's Note: To toast the almonds, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 6 to 8 minutes until lightly toasted. Cool completely before using.

Cook's Note Alternative:
Replace the dried cherries with 1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots and add 2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts. Also, use 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and omit the almond extract.


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