CRANBERRY-PECAN CHEESE WAFERS
1-½ cups chopped pecans
1-½ cups chopped sweetened dried cranberries
2 cups butter, softened
1 (16-ounce) block of sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons cayenne pepper
4 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350. Bake pecans in a single layer in a pan for 8 to 10 minutes until toasted, and stir halfway through. Let them cool. Add chopped cranberries to a small pot of boiling water. Cover the pot and turn the burner off. After 15 minutes, place the cranberries in a colander and let them drain well. Take paper towels and blot them to remove all excess moisture. This step is very important.
Beat butter and next 3 ingredients at medium speed. A stand-up mixer works best for this. Gradually add flour, beating just until combined. Stir in cranberries and pecans. Shape dough into 4 (12-inch logs) and wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill 8 hours or up to 3 days. Preheat the oven to 350. With a very sharp knife, cut each log into ¼-inch slices. Place on the parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake for 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely about 20 minutes. This recipe makes about 18 dozen.