Cranberry shortbread cookies with pistachios start with a buttery melt-in-your-mouth shortbread that you can’t resist. Add some rich pistachios and grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy these scrumptious treats.
Cranberry Shortbread Cookies
Who doesn’t love a buttery shortbread cookie, but these are even better than a traditional shortbread. Filled with dried cranberries and rich pistachios, you get a wonderful blend of flavors in each bite.
Not too sweet, so they go perfectly with a cup of tea or coffee for a mid-morning pick me up. Since they’re so colorful, keep them in mind for the Christmas holidays, but don’t wait that long to try these easy slice and bake cookies.
Around the holidays, I like to keep some pistachio cranberry cookies in the freezer to bring for a hostess gift or to a special teacher. If you’re looking for a unique cookie for your cookie exchange, these are always a winner.
Why you’ll love them
- Buttery texture
- Make ahead and bake as many as you want
- Festive colors
- Not too sweet
- A great idea for a cookie exchange
What you’ll need
- Dried cranberries – for a sweet and tart flavor burst, you could also use dried cherries or blueberries
- Pistachios – if you can find unsalted use those, if not use salted and eliminate the salt in the recipe.
- Butter – don’t substitute, you need it for that rich flavor.
- Pantry staples – flour, sugar, vanilla
Pro tip: These pistachio shortbread cookies are easy to make with just a few ingredients but they need to be refrigerated so plan ahead.
How do you make Cranberry Shortbread Cookies
Cream butter and sugar and add vanilla salt and flour, it’s so easy.
Add dried cranberries and roasted unsalted pistachios and form into a log the size that you want your cookies. If you can’t find unsalted pistachios, you can use lightly salted, just leave out the salt in the dough. I like the Trader Joe’s brand.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours then slice and bake.
Once sliced, they won’t change shape, so make sure the diameter of the log is the size of the cookie you want before you refrigerate it. Then slice it to the thickness you want the cookies to be, they will look exactly the same before and after they’re cooked, just slightly browned.
What can you do if the dough breaks when you cut it?
If the dough is breaking apart, let it warm up a little and try cutting it again. Use a very sharp knife, I prefer a serrated knife because of the nuts and cranberries.
What to serve with shortbread cookies
- Of course shortbread cookies are great with tea, coffee or a glass of milk.
- Since they’re not overly sweet, it’s a nice addition to a potluck.
- They’re a great choice for a cookie exchange.
- Keep some in the freezer to give as a hostess gift.
They’re also a nice accompaniment to a piece of lemon chess pie.
You can freeze the dough just let it thaw before cutting, or freeze after they’ve baked so that you can grab one for an afternoon snack. Since they’re not too crumbly you can also mail these to friends or family.
FAQs and tips
How can you cut a slice and bake cookie?
Since these slice and bake cookies have nuts and cranberries, use a serrated knife.
Do you have to refrigerate shortbread cookies before baking?
You need to refrigerate buttery shortbread dough before slicing. This helps you have pretty slices but also gives them the distinct shortbread texture.
Can you freeze cranberry shortbread cookie dough?
Just wrap the logs of dough in two layers of plastic wrap and freeze for several months. You’ll need to let them thaw before cutting or they will break into pieces.
If you love shortbread, here’s some amazing recipes you’ll want to try
More holiday cookies
- Eggnog cookies
- Cherry crinkle cookies
- Peanut Butter sandwich cookies
- Sprinkle cookies
- Chocolate cookies
- Pumpkin cookies
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Cranberry Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup butter room temp
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 2 ⅓ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ¼ cups dried cranberries
- 1 cup unsalted pistachios slightly toasted
- In an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until very smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla, then reduce speed to low. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in pistachios and cranberries.
- Divide in two and form each half into a log 2 inches in diameter. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350º and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Slice to desired depth, ¼ to ½ inch thick and place on prepared pans. They will not change shapes while cooking. Bake for 16-20 minutes until the edges begin to brown.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- The dough can be frozen until ready to make. Just thaw before slicing.
- Use a serrated knife to slice.
- If the dough breaks apart when slicing, let it warm up.
- You can use salted pistachios, just leave out the added salt.
- Shape the logs into the size that you want, they will not change shape when baked.