These shortbread cranberry cookies are a fun seasonal twist to your favorite easy cookie recipe. Made with soft buttery cookie dough and packed with flavor, these cookies are a holiday treat worth waiting for every year. Add them to your Christmas cookie box, and you won’t regret it!
You’re going to love these cranberry orange shortbread cookies. They’re good to the last few crumbs and every batch makes plenty of cookies to share making them perfect for the biggest cookie gifting holiday of the year.
With this cranberry shortbread cookies recipe on hand, you’ll always have an easy cookie recipe to whip up for events and whenever you want to work a little weekend baking into your schedule.
What Are Shortbread Cranberry Cookies?
These cookies are as simple as delicious. They’re soft and buttery shortbread cookies studded with dried cranberries and chopped pecans throughout every slice.
There is also some orange zest that combines amazingly with its buttery flavors. The cranberry pecan shortbread cookies dough is made very easily and there is a slight chill time involved before slicing and baking, but that time is always well worth it because the results are consistently fabulous.
Ingredients you’ll need for shortbread cranberry cookies:
- Powdered sugar
- Brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Orange zest
- All-purpose flour
- Dried cranberries
- Chopped pecans
For the exact amounts needed, please see the recipe card below.
How to Make Cranberry Shortbread Cookies
Mix your butter in a bowl until soft, using an electric mixer.
Add in the powdered sugar and brown sugar and then mix again until very creamy.
Add in the vanilla extract and mix again to combine.
In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients like flour, orange zest, and salt.
Add these ingredients to the butter mixture and stir until well combined.
Gently fold in your chopped pecans and dried cranberries and stir until incorporated.
Cut a 12-15 inch piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper and place it on the counter.
Place half of your dough on top and then shape it into a log about 1.5 inches thick by 7 inches long.
Roll in the paper or plastic to cover the dough.
Place the dough in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours.
Once the dough is ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove the dough logs from the fridge and remove the paper or plastic that they have been wrapped in.
Slice them into ¼-⅓ inch thick slices.
Place the cookie slices on your prepared baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges.
Allow the cookies to cool for about 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
The cookies will be soft right after baking but will firm up as they cool.
- Nuts. You can use walnuts instead of chopped pecans or you can simply omit the nuts entirely depending on what you’d prefer.
- Optional topping. If desired, after the cookies have cooled, you can drizzle some melted white chocolate over the top of the cookies for a more festive appearance. This can be done by placing a cup of white chocolate chips in a bowl and microwaving in 30-second intervals until smooth, stirring well after each addition. Then dip or drizzle over the cookies as desired.
- Baking time reminder. The actual baking time for these cookies varies depending on how thick you slice your cookies. Remember that thicker cookies will take longer to cook fully but thinner cookies can b done faster. I recommend checking on the cookies after 8 minutes in the oven, just to be sure.
How long are cranberry shortbread cookies good for?
These cookies can last up to 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature. You can also extend the shelf life by 2 days by placing them in an airtight container in the fridge. Meaning, that they can last 3 days on the counter or up to 5 days in the fridge.
How far in advance can I make shortbread cookie dough?
You can prepare the dough up to 3 days in advance and keep it well covered and stored in the fridge. I recommend having the dough in the wrapped logs of dough so that they’re ready to slice and bake at a moment’s notice.
Can I freeze shortbread cookies?
Yes, these cookies can be frozen after they have cooled completely. Simply place the cookies in an airtight container and place them in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you plan on dipping the cookies in chocolate or drizzling chocolate over them then do it after the cookies have thawed and just before serving for the best results.
If you love cranberries then you are going to love these fun cranberry recipes!
- Key Lime Cranberry Champagne Drink
- Cranberry Daiquiri
- Cranberry Whiskey Smash
- Honey Chipotle Cranberry Sauce (Turkey Burgers)
- Cranberry Orange Moscow Mule Drink Recipe
- 1 cup (227gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Zest of one orange
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅓ dried cranberries, chopped
- ⅓ cup pecans, chopped
- Start by mixing your butter until soft.
- Then add powdered sugar and brown sugar and mix until very creamy.
- Finally, add vanilla extract and combine.
- In a different bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, orange zest, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients into the butter bowl and stir until well combined.
- Then fold in chopped cranberries and chopped pecans. Stir to combine.
- Cut a 12-15 inches square piece of plastic paper or baking paper and place it over the counter. Place half of your batter over the paper, and roll it into a log shape: 1.5 inches thick and 7 inches long. Refrigerate them for 2+ hours.
- Once you’re ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 350F and prepare two large baking trays with baking paper.
- Remove your logs from the fridge and remove the covering paper. Cut them into ¼-⅓ thick slices.
- Place them in the prepared baking trays and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden in the edges.
- Allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes before transferring them out of the baking tray. They will be soft just before baking, but they’ll get firmer within minutes.