Cranberry-Five Spice Cookies Recipe
For the optional topping:
Mix 1 tablespoon of the sugar and the cranberries together in a bowl. Set aside, stirring occasionally.
Whisk the flour and 5-spice powder together.
Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the salt together on low speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and mix for 1 minute. The mixture will look curdled, but it will even out when the dry ingredients are added. Turn the mixer off, add the flour mixture all at once and pulse to begin blending. When the risk of flying flour has passed, mix on low speed only until the flour disappears into the dough. Give the cranberries a last stir and spoon them into the bowl (if there's any liquid in the bowl, discard it, along with the chopped peanuts, and mix just to incorporate; or do this by hand with a sturdy flexible spatula. Either way, try to mix as little as possible so that the cranberries don't turn the dough pink.
Turn the dough out onto a counter, knead it gently and divide it in half; pat each half into a disk.
Working with 1 disk at a time, place the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll it to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Slide the dough, still between the paper, onto a baking sheet—you can stack the slabs—and freeze for at least 1 hour.
When you're ready to bake, center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Have a 1 1/2-inch-diameter cookie cutter at hand.
Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, peel away both sheets of paper and put the dough back on one sheet. Cut out as many cookies as you can and put them on the baking sheet, leaving about an inch between them. Sprinkle the cookies with any or all of the optional toppings. (Save the scraps, then combine them with the scraps you get from the second disk, re-roll, freeze and cut and bake.)
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 7 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden around the edges and feel just firm to the touch. Let the cookies rest on the sheet for a minute or 2, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Repeat with the remaining dough, using a cool baking sheet.
The rolled-out dough can be refrigerated overnight or, wrapped airtight, frozen for up to 2 months. Or, if you'd like, you can cut out the cookies and freeze the rounds. Bake them straight from the freezer; you might have to add another minute or 2 to the baking time. The baked cookies will keep in a container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
From Dorie's Cookies (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by Dorie Greenspan.