3/4 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries
3/4 cup chopped shelled green pistachios
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup Vanilla Sugar (recipe follows)
Layer the ingredients in a 1-quart canning jar. Tap jar gently on the counter to settle each layer before adding the next one. Add additional dried fruits or pistachios to fill small gaps, if necessary.
Makes 1 jar.
Attach the following instructions on a gift tag:
Beat 1/3 cup butter (no substitutes) in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Beat in 2 eggs. Stir in jar contents just till combined using a wooden spoon. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill until easy to handle, if necessary. Shape each portion of dough into a 9-inch loaf. Place loaves 4 inches apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet, flattening slightly until 2 inches wide. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes or till a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool loaves on the cookie sheet for 1 hour.
Cut each loaf diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices using a serrated knife. Place slices, cut sides down on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees F for 8 minutes. Turn slices over; bake 8 to 10 minutes more or until dry and crisp. Cool on wire rack.
Fill a quart jar with 4 cups granulated sugar. Cut a vanilla bean in half lengthwise and insert both halves into sugar. Secure lid and store in a cool dry place for several weeks before using. Will keep indefinitely.