Cranberry-Cherry Icebox Ribbons: Holiday Cookies (and Giveaway Winners!)

The four vintage Christmas Apron winners (chosen with the random number generator) are:

Bonnie from From a Writer's Kitchen

Teresa from A Blog About Food
Stevie from Weird Combinations
Susan from Schnitzel and the Trout

Please contact me at bsmithw@gmail.com and give me your mailing addresses.

My second cookie for this holiday season is a lovely ribbon cookie. Fairly easy to make, pretty to look at and delicious to eat. The layers of a vanilla almond shortbread-like dough sandwiched in between the tangy cranberry and cherry filling makes this cookie a perfect foil to the holiday chocolate and spice cookies on your tea tray. They keep beautifully in your cookie jar, if indeed they don't disappear in a day! And they make super hostess gifts too. This was my first time making these ribbon cookies but I'll be making them a few more times this season.

Bench notes: next time I'll trim them better so the corners look neater (I hated wasting the dough by trimming too much) and because it's such a large cookie, I'll cut the dough slices in half before baking. 
If you do that, keep your eye on the cooking time.
I'll also try to get the cranberry-cherry layer more even. Practice makes perfect, so take advantage of my mistakes!

Cranberry-Cherry Icebox Ribbons
From Nancy Baggett’s The All-American Cookie Book


About 3 ounces dried cranberries
Generous 1/3 cup sour cherry preserves 
1  1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract


For the filling:
Combine the cranberries, cherry preserves, and sugar in a food processor. Process until coarsely pureed.

Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring to avoid burning, until the mixture comes to a boil.
Remove from heat and add almond extract. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.

For the dough
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.

In a mixer, combine the butter and sugar and blend together until smooth and creamy.
Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. Let the dough stand for about 10 minutes to let it firm up.

Line a 4 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch loaf pan with foil, letting the foil overhang the long sides so you can easily remove the dough from the pan. On top of the foil, line the pan with two sheets of plastic wrap laid crosswise and overhanging the longer sides as well.

Divide the dough into quarters. Shape one portion into roughly the size of the loaf pan ( pre-shaping each layer is an important step and will make it easier to layer the cookie) and pat into the bottom. It may even help to have a dough tamper to get the dough in evenly. Spread one-third of the cranberry filling over the dough with a small spatula. Repeat with the remaining three portions of dough and two portions of filling.

Fold the plastic wrap over the dough, completely covering it. Freeze the dough in the pan for at least 1 1/2 hours, until firm. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line several baking sheets with baking paper.

Take the loaf out of the freezer and unwrap the dough. You can allow it to warm up a bit for a few minutes, but don't let it get too soft or it will be difficult to cut neat slices and the filling will start squishing out.

Using a sharp knife, trim the sides so that the sides of the loaf are straight up and down. Wipe the knife off between cuts. Cut the loaf into thirds on its long side. Cut each third into 1/4 inch slices that are about 2  3/4 inches long. Transfer the slices carefully to the baking sheets, placing them about 2 inches apart.

Bake one sheet at a time for about 9 to 14 minutes, until the edges are just starting to darken and firm up. Transfer the cookies to wire racks and let them cool completely.

Store cookies between layers of parchment paper in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Makes about 30 cookies.


  1. Congrats to the winners! Those cookies look wonderful. I love the idea and filling.



  2. Anything involving sour cherries wins me over! These are so pretty!

  3. I'm starting to get in the spirit! These look like such fun to make, I'd love cutting into a block of dough and getting the beautiful striped design, Yum!

  4. These look beautiful and sound delicious Barbara. So delicious I doubt I'd notice any unsightly corners. :) You're getting me in the spirit, that holiday plate makes me want to head to the basement and unpack my Christmas stuff.

  5. Your Ribbon cookies look so festive Barbara. I love the idea that you can put them in the freezer. Does the filling freeze well also?

    Thank you so much for sharing...Congrats to the Winners!!!

  6. Yes congratulations:)

    Those cookies look so good and festive..thank you!

  7. Congratulations to the winners! It looks like holiday celebrations are beginning here at Moveable Feasts!

  8. These cookies look amazing. I love to find different cookies like this!

  9. Congratulations to your winners!

    I know I would love these cookie ribbons with the cranberry/cherry combo.

  10. Oh, Barbara! Really? I was just admiring your cookies and then I saw my name. Must be another Susan. But then I saw my blog name. I am so excited. Rarely in my life have I ever won anything. This is great. I know exactly when I will wear it...with pride. Email coming. Susan

  11. Love icebox cookies, yours look so festive! Congrats to winners.

  12. yay! i'm so excited, i don't have a holiday apron. i will so enjoy it this season! thank you!

    this treat looks delicious and so pretty. wonderful for thanksgiving!

  13. Those are beautiful! I can't believe the cookie baking season is almost upon us!

  14. baking pies and cookies is such a fun way to get into the spirit of the season. I love these ribbons--a festive looking cookie to add to the holiday array.

    thanks for all that you share with us on Moveable Feasts. Have a Happy Thanksgiving, Barbara!

  15. Congrats to the winner Barbara and these baking pies and cookies look georgeous:)

  16. Congrats to the winners! I'm eyeballing freezer and 'fridge cookies a lot right now for some reason...

  17. Congrats to the winner!
    I've always wanted to make ribbon cookies, but never taken the time. I love that the ribbon has fruit in it, not just another layer of cookie dough. These look beautiful.

  18. Hi Barbara,

    The ribbon cookies look so pretty, especially on the lovely Christmas platter.
    Congratulations to the lucky winners.

    Happy week

  19. Cranberry and cherry ribbon cookies you say??? I hear you, and they are just ss even!!:p, if they make it into the glass jars even!!:p
    These look so festive; I am dreaming of Christmas...can't wait for its arrival!:)

  20. What beautiful little cookies! They'd look so festive on a holiday platter.

  21. First of all congratulations to the winners and second I can see that we are all in a cookies mood lately. These ones look delicious!

  22. The cookies look so good! Plus I'm thrilled to have my number selected. Thanks again Barbara.

  23. I love cookies that include fruit fillings. These would be a stand out for the holiday cookie platter.

  24. someone recently gave me a jar of cherry preserves, and it was gone within the week. what a tasty use for it, should it ever hang around long enough! :)

  25. Such terrific cookies for the holidays, yum!

  26. Thats good, your blog is cool, i like it. Thanks for the efforts my friend.



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