New Jersey isn't all about the shore, big hair and "the situation." Not everyone GTL's. New Jersey is a beautiful state. When my husband and I were dating, we'd take long Sunday drives through Warren, Morris and Hunterdon counties taking in the beautiful scenery. They don't call it the "Garden State" for nothing.
Then there's beautiful Cape May with it's beautiful beach and historic Victorian homes.
Then there's Atlantic City and of course the rest of the Jersey Shore. When I was growing up, my family, like many other families in our area, always vacationed on the Jersey shore every summer. Our destination was always Wildwood, but there's Ocean City, Long Beach Island, Point Pleasant and Seaside Heights. I have many memories of the boardwalk and the beach. The pizza and the saltwater taffy. The ring of the bells in the arcade and the rapid "tick-tick-tick" of the prize wheels. Oh, how I miss those summers.
New Jersey is also known for it's cranberries, ranking third among all the states in cranberry production. My favorite cranberry preparation, I'm sorry to say, is cranberry sauce. In a can. With the ridges from the can still on the cylinder sitting on a plate. I love it. I could eat it by the can. My husband, not such a fan. In fact, he never really had it growing up. My mother-in-law now buys it special, just for me, at Thanksgiving and I think I'm the only one who actually eats it.
These cookies use dried cranberries. They're tart and sweet and chewy - such a different flavor from the loaf of cranberry gelatin. The dried cranberries are mixed with some finely chopped almonds and a little orange zest and then rolled up in a rich butter cookie, sliced and baked until golden. I just think these cookies are so pretty - before and after baking. I could easily see these being added to my ever growing Christmas Cookie arsenal.