Pistachio Cranberry Shortbread cookies are the perfect festive holiday cookie. A buttery melt-in-your-mouth shortbread that’s great for a cookie exchange.
I’m always on the lookout for desserts with pistachios. I absolutely love pistachio shortbread with ground pistachios and pistachio lemon bars are amazing. These slice and bake shortbreads are a holiday favorite with pistachios, and festive dried cranberries.
They look so much more interesting than regular cookies and have a shortbread taste, buttery and not too sweet. However, the crunch from the nuts combined with the cranberries make these better than a traditional shortbread, perfect with a cup of Earl Grey. Since they’re so colorful, keep them in mind for the Christmas holidays, but don’t wait that long to try them. If you’re not a tea drinker, Mike loves them with espresso.
What you’ll need
- Dried cranberries – for a sweet and tart pop to the shortbread
- Pistachios – if you can find unsalted use those, if not use salted and eliminate the salt in the recipe.
- Butter – don’t substitute
- Pantry staples – flour, sugar, vanilla
How do you MAKE Pistachio Cranberry Shortbread
These shortbread cookies are easy to make with just a few ingredients but they need to be refrigerated so plan ahead.
Step 1: Cream the butter and sugar and add vanilla salt and flour.
Step 2: 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. (affiliate links)
Step 3: Refrigerate for at least 2 hours then slice and bake.
Once sliced, they will not change shape, so make sure the diameter of the log is what you want before you refrigerate it. Then slice it to the thickness you want the cookies to be, they look exactly the same before and after they’re cooked, just slightly browned.
How can you serve Pistachio Cranberry Shortbread cookies
Of course Christmas shortbread cookies are great with tea, coffee or a glass of milk. These buttery shortbread cookies are so pretty if you’re serving a mixture of holiday sweets for a party or when friends and family are visiting. They’re a great addition to your Christmas cookie swap.
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.
If you love SHORTBREAD, here’s some more recipes you’ll love
- Shortbread cookies with orange and rosemary for a slightly sweet and citrus taste
- Try some slice and bakeShortbread cookies with chocolate chips for something different
- Buttery Shortbread with pistachios
- Go savory with Honey Shortbread cookies
- Shortbread Bars with strawberries
More holiday cookies
- Eggnog cookies
- Cherry crinkle cookies
- Peanut Butter sandwich cookies
- Sprinkle cookies
- Chocolate cookies
- Pumpkin cookies
FAQ’s and tips
Since these slice and bake cookies have nuts and cranberries, use a serrated knife.
You need to refrigerate buttery shortbread dough before slicing. This helps you have pretty slices but also gives them the distinct shortbread texture.
Just wrap the logs of dough in two layers of plastic wrap and freeze for several months. You will need to let them thaw before cutting or they will break into pieces.
If the dough is breaking apart, let it warm up a little and then try again.
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Pistachio Cranberry Shortbread
- 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.
If you make Pistachio Cranberry Shortbread, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! I would love to see your creation.