I’ll admit I didn’t spend too much of my time actually worrying about the world ending yesterday. It’s a date that’s been looming on the horizon of for a while now, and excitement slowly increased as Mayan prophecy came closer to realization. Most, like myself, approached the day without a worry and enjoyed the chance to see our places on this earth in a slightly different, humorous light. Breweries crafted beers with titles such as “Enjoy by 12.21.12,” End-of-the-World parties were planned, we asked silly questions like “what time exactly does the world end?,” and yes — a customer at work decided it was an appropriate time to craft and edible Stonehenge from cheese.
Though an actual Doomsday seemed unlikely to most, I don’t doubt we all stopped for a moment at some point and asked ourselves, “Wait, what if the world will actually end on December 21?” The thoughts that ran through my head on December 20: “Crap, why didn’t I think about this sooner?” “Well, at least I won’t have to get up for work at 4am tomorrow.” “When am I going to have time to bake Christmas cookies??”
And, my thoughts on December 21 as the day chugged along normally: “I wonder how the Mayans feel now.” “I am sooo tired from waking up at 4am.” “Oh man, it’s time to bake Christmas cookies!”
If you haven’t caught on by now, these cookies are pretty important. They’re just so good. The post-apocalyptic world is a better place with them. And so, tired as I was yesterday, I rushed into the kitchen, quickly commandeered by one foot of counter space, and got to “whipping” by butter with a food processor because I have no mixer. (Yes, it was an awkward moment and a culinarily incorrect one to boot, but it all came together in the end, well worth it.) Thank you, Mayans, for kick-starting my holiday baking spree. And thank you for not ending the world. Let’s do this again next year — it was fun.
End-of-the-World Cranberry-Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from Urban Sacred Garden
Makes ~24 cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cups fresh cranberries
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 ounces mini dark chocolate chips (or make your own “chips” by finely chopping a bar)
In a medium bowl, with a whisk, thoroughly combine the flour and sea salt. In a bowl fitted to an electric mixer beat butter on medium speed until fluffy, occasionally stopping the mixer and scraping down the sides with a spatula. Gradually add powdered sugar to the butter, 1/4 cup at a time, mixing between each addition until mixture is a pale white and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just combined. In a small food processor pulse together fresh cranberries and granulated sugar until they are finely chopped. Add cranberries and dark chocolate to the dough and mix briefly until just combined. Remove dough from mixing bowl and divide into two even balls. Shape each ball into a dough log and wrap in plastic wrap. Place dough logs in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove dough from refrigerator. Cut logs into 1/4 inch thick slices; place on a cookies sheet about an inch apart. Bake in preheated oven for about 35 minutes until cookies are slightly firm to the touch and edges are browned. Eat warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!