- Author: Tami Reese, UC Master Food Preserver
- Editor: Shannon A Klisch
This article first appeared in the San Luis Obispo Tribune.
Last November I had an abundance of fresh cranberries. After water bath canning a few jars, I decided to dry the rest with my dehydrator. I finally found the perfect way to use the dried cranberries and share with my friends. I am making “Window-To-My-Heart” Cookie mix. It is a dry mix stored in mason jars that you give to friends as gifts. They add the “wet” ingredients and can make beautiful heart shaped Valentine's Day cookies. As an added bonus, you can also gift the heart shaped cookie cutters needed for this recipe. I have also included how to dry your own cranberries for this recipe.
Wash and dry cranberries thoroughly. Cut berries in half and place skin side down on mesh drying tray in a dehydrator. (This exposes more surface area of the interior of the berry and speeds up the drying process.) Dry at 130 F degrees for 10 to 14 hours. Berries should be slightly shriveled, firm, and no longer juicy inside. Store in mason jars in pantry.
Mason jar “Window-To-My-Heart” cookie mix:
Makes 1 (1 quart) jar
2 ¼ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 cup dried cranberries, chopped
½ cup powdered sugar
15 to 20 cherry or cinnamon flavored hard candies
- Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in medium bowl.
- Layer flour mixture, brown sugar, chopped cranberries and powdered sugar in 1-quart food storage jar. Pack ingredients down slightly before adding each layer.
- Place candies in a small plastic food storage bag; seal and place on top.
- Close jar; cover lid with fabric. Attach gift tag with baking instructions and fabric to jar with ribbon.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) plus 2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 jar “Window-To-My-Heart” cookie mix
- Beat butter and vanilla in large bowl.
- Remove candies from jar; set aside.
- Gradually beat in remaining contents of jar.
- Wrap dough in cellophane; refrigerate 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325 F degrees.
- Place candies in heavy duty plastic food storage bag and crush into fine crumbs with a rolling pin or mallet; set aside.
- Roll dough out on floured surface to ¼ inch thickness. Cut into heart shaped cookies; with smaller cookie cutter make heart shaped cut out in center of each cookie.
- Transfer cookies to cookie sheet lined with foil. Sprinkle thin layer of crushed candy into empty centers. Bake 20 minutes or until cookie are lightly browned around edges and candy is melted. Cool on cookie sheet until candy centers are firm.
Bennett, Bev. “Window-To-My-Heart Cookie Mix”. Recipe. Gifts from a Jar Year-Round Treats. Lincolnwood. Publications International, Ltd. 2005. 15. Print.
Enjoy and Happy Valentine's Day
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