Coconut-Cranberry Chews

Guaranteed to add at least 1 inch to your waist and probably 2 inches to your hips…but a wonderful chewy,rich Christmas cookie from the Oregonian in 2004

1-1/2 c butter (3 sticks)(no margerine)
2 c granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon grated orange zest
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg
3-1/4 c all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt ( I leave out; the butter has plenty salt)
1-1/2 c dried cranberries
1-1/2 c sweetened flaked dried coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a large bowl, with a mixer at medium speed, beat butter, sugar, orange zest and vanilla until smooth. Beat in egg until well blended.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture , stir to mix then beat on low speed until dough comes together, about 5 minutes. I found that the dough is much to stiff for my hand mixer so I do it the old fashioned way…by hand. Mix in cranberries and coconut. You will probably think it is never going to hold together, but it will.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on buttered baking sheets. Bake until cookies just begin to brown, 11-15 minutes. Shorter baking time will yield a chewier cookie; longer baking time a crisper cookie. If using two sheets, reverse their position in the oven half way through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then use a wide spatula to transfer to racks to cool completely.

NOTE: The mixture may look dry until it comes together as a dough. If it is too crumbly to form balls, the dough needs to be mixed longer. If you have a food processor to do the work for you, it is a piece of cake, if not, your arm will feel like falling off by the time you get it just right. The dough should be a smooth, homogeneous mass.

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