Heat oven to 350°. Whirl sauce in a food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds; set aside.
Beat butter and sugar together in the bowl of a standing mixer until smooth. Stir in vanilla extract. Add flour, spices, and salt, then mix on low speed until blended, scraping inside of bowl as needed. Stir in pecans.
Form dough into 1 1/2-in balls and set 1 in. apart on a greased baking sheet. Use your thumb to press a well into center of each cookie. Spoon about 3/4 tsp. cranberry sauce into each well.
Bake cookies until light golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely on baking sheet.
These taste delicious, but consistency is tricky. I cut the flour by 1/4 cup as some had said the dough was overly crumbly. While it was pebbly, it did pack just fine - although some cookies had tough bits, and some spread more than others. This may be one where the temperature of the butter has to be juuuuuust right to get a better batter.
The cookie is tasty by itself but the cranberry adds a colorful and contrasting little kick. We loved them! Rather than shape into balls, I rolled dough into logs, refrigerated, then sliced about 3/8 inch each, baked 4-5 minutes to soften, then put thumbprint and cranberries onto cookies.
OK, they taste great. They were very hard to form into balls, many lost their shape while baking, the cranberries look like ketchup, they needed to bake more than 15 minutes. A LOT of butter for 25 cookies. Not worth the effort or saturated fat.
The recipe was interesting so I tried making them as a test for a holiday cookie swap.I was very disappointed in how the dough came together...because it didn't. Was more like pie crust and way too crumbley to be able to work with. I added one egg and the dough came together beautifully and made a very tender cookie. They are delicious and a potential for the cookie swap party.
I too found these hard to form into balls. I solved this by dividing the dough into 6 balls and worked each ball into a log that was 1.5 inches in diameter. Then I cut the log in 1" slices. These were much easier to shape, were consistent in size and took less time. Not that it was my intention but it made 50 cookies.
I tried blackberry jam as well. I liked the cranberry much better as it picked up the flavor in the cookie for a nice pairing.
I think something was left out of this recipe. The dough was too crumbly to form into balls. I added an egg at the end, but it still didn't turn out right. I wonder if there is a misprint and a missing ingredient like egg or milk. Don't waste your time on this one.
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