Impress Your Guests with This Delicious Shortbread Dessert

Welcome to my Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Recipe! I’m excited to share this recipe with you because it’s not your typical shortbread cookie. The combination of dried cranberries and pistachios adds a nutty yet refreshing flavor that takes these cookies to a new level.

Shortbread cookies are a classic favorite for many, and this recipe offers something different but equally delicious. The texture of these cookies is delightfully crumbly, with just the right amount of sweetness. They’re perfect for dunking into a hot cup of tea or coffee or enjoying as an afternoon snack.

What makes this recipe even better is how easy it is to make. You only need ten ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. Also, the preparation time is minimal, making it perfect for baking on busy days.

Whether you’re hosting a holiday party, looking for Christmas gifts or wanting to satisfy your sweet tooth, these cranberry pistachio shortbread cookies are excellent treats to indulge in.

Follow along with me as I walk you through the ingredients and steps needed to create these addictive cookies. Trust me; you won’t regret it!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread
Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread

Are you a fan of shortbread cookies? How about adding some cranberries and pistachios to give them an extra delicious twist? Trust me, you’re going to love this recipe for Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Cookies!

The buttery, crumbly texture of shortbread combined with the sweetness of dried cranberries and the nutty richness of pistachios make for a perfect flavor combination. Plus, the addition of cinnamon and lemon zest adds a refreshing tang that will keep you coming back for more.

And let’s not forget about the all-important vanilla extract. Using pure vanilla extract is key to this recipe as it enhances the flavors and aromas that will fill your kitchen with warmth and comfort.

These cookies are perfect for any occasion whether it’s Christmas, birthday parties or having some friends over for tea or coffee. The beauty of these cookies is that they are easy to make, so get the kids involved in making them too!

Not only are these cookies tasty, they are also visually stunning! The combination of deep red cranberries and green pistachios are very pleasing to the eye, making them perfect for gifting as well.

So what are you waiting for? Give this Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Cookie recipe a try and watch as your friends and family fall in love with every bite!

Ingredient List

 Bite into these heavenly shortbread cookies filled with tangy cranberries and crunchy pistachios.
Bite into these heavenly shortbread cookies filled with tangy cranberries and crunchy pistachios.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this flavorful Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread recipe.

For the Shortbread Cookies Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (240g) of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (30g) of cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks, or 225g) of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (60g) of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (90g) of chopped pistachios
  • 1/2 cup (75g) of dried cranberries

For the Powdered Sugar Coating:

  • 3/4 cup (90g) of powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon

Don’t forget that having high-quality ingredients will make a difference in the outcome of your Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread cookies. Double-check your pantry for any missing items before you start baking!

The Recipe How-To

 Your taste buds will thank you for these delightful cookies that are perfect for gifting.
Your taste buds will thank you for these delightful cookies that are perfect for gifting.

Now that we have gathered all the necessary ingredients, let’s dive right into making the Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Cookies. This recipe is fairly simple to follow and should yield around 24 cookies.

Step 1: Prep the Dough

Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups (240 g) of all-purpose flour, a pinch of kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Set aside.

Step 2: Cream the Butter and Sugar

In a separate mixing bowl, cream together 1 cup (2 sticks or 230 g) of unsalted butter softened at room temperature, 1/4 cup (50 g) of granulated sugar, and 3/4 cup (90 g) of powdered sugar until light and fluffy.

Step 3: Add Flavorings

Mix in 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and zest from one lemon using an electric mixer on low speed. Then add the dry ingredients from step one gradually until well incorporated.

Step 4: Fold in Cranberries and Pistachios

Remove the mixer attachments and use a silicone spatula to fold in 3/4 cup (100 g) of dried cranberries and 1/2 cup (60 g) of roughly chopped pistachios into the dough.

Step 5: Shape the Dough into Logs

Divide your cookie dough into two equal portions. Roll each portion into a log about 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Then wrap them tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least two hours to chill.

Step 6: Slice Cookie Dough

After chilling, remove the logs from the fridge and unwrap them. Use a sharp knife to slice each log into about 12 round disks. Place these disks about an inch apart on your prepared baking sheet.

Step 7: Bake Cookies

Bake your cookies for about 18 to 20 minutes or until they are light golden brown around the edges.

Step 8: Cool & Enjoy!

Remove your freshly baked cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on their baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them onto a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy your delicious Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Cookies with a hot cup of tea or coffee!

Substitutions and Variations

 Indulge in the perfect balance of sweetness and nuttiness with our Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread bars.
Indulge in the perfect balance of sweetness and nuttiness with our Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread bars.

One of the great things about this cranberry pistachio shortbread recipe is how versatile it is! Here are some substitutions and variations that you can make, depending on your preferences and what you have in your pantry:

– Pistachios: If you’re not a fan of pistachios or don’t have any on hand, you can replace them with another type of nut. Almonds or pecans would be great options.

– Dried cranberries: You could also use other dried fruits in this recipe, like cherries, apricots, or raisins.

– Lemon zest: If you prefer, you can use orange zest instead of lemon zest for a different citrus flavor.

– Cinnamon: For a warm and cozy twist, try adding 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the dough.

– Gluten-free: To make these cookies gluten-free, substitute the all-purpose flour with an equal amount of gluten-free flour blend.

– Chocolate: If you’re a chocolate lover, try adding 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips to the dough. You could also dip the finished cookies in melted white chocolate or drizzle them with dark chocolate for an extra indulgent touch.

– Brown sugar: For a deeper caramel flavor, try using brown sugar instead of granulated sugar in the dough.

– Cranberry Orange Pistachio: For a different flavor profile altogether, swap out the lemon zest for orange zest and add 1/2 cup of chopped dried apricots.

No matter how you customize these cranberry pistachio shortbread cookies, they’re sure to be a hit!

Serving and Pairing

 Don't miss out on this festive holiday recipe that will have everyone asking for more.
Don’t miss out on this festive holiday recipe that will have everyone asking for more.

Now, let’s talk about serving and pairing these delicious cranberry pistachio shortbread cookies.

These cookies are incredibly versatile and can be eaten on their own or paired with a variety of beverages. They go extremely well with a cup of hot tea or coffee, but can also be paired with a glass of milk or hot cocoa.

If you’re looking for a more adult beverage to pair these cookies with, try serving them alongside a glass of red wine or port. The rich flavors of the cookies complement the boldness of the wine perfectly, creating a truly decadent experience.

For holiday gatherings, these cookies make for fantastic party favors or festive additions to any cookie platter thanks to their vibrant colors and comforting flavors of cinnamon, orange zest and vanilla. They are what good memories made from old-fashioned Christmas Cookies should be.

To take things up a notch, you could even drizzle some white chocolate over your cooled cookies, perfect for expressing your creativity in decorating your own desserts while elevating your baked goods’ taste and presentation.

No matter how you choose to serve them, these cranberry pistachio shortbread cookies are sure to impress. Their tender yet buttery texture bursting with chunks of dried cranberries and toasted pistachios is delightful any time of year.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A mix of chewy, crispy, and buttery textures combine to create these amazing treats.
A mix of chewy, crispy, and buttery textures combine to create these amazing treats.

Once cooled, the Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to five days at room temperature. For longer storage, they can be frozen in an airtight container for up to two months. Ensure that they are thawed at room temperature before reheating.

For make-ahead preparation, it is recommended that you freeze the dough instead of the baked cookies. The dough can be kept in the freezer for up to three months. When ready to bake, let the dough thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bring it to room temperature for 20-30 minutes before slicing and baking.

The Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Cookies taste best when fresh out of the oven, but if you need to reheat them, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake them for 3-5 minutes or until they are heated through.

These cookies make great snacks, party treats, or gifts during holiday seasons. Store them properly and enjoy them whenever you have cravings for some festive sweetness or need something quick and delicious for your guests or your loved ones.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Our Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread bars are a perfect blend of tart, nutty and sweet flavors.
Our Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread bars are a perfect blend of tart, nutty and sweet flavors.

When it comes to baking, precision is key. A shift in the amount of one ingredient can have a significant impact on the texture and flavor of your recipe. So when making cranberry pistachio shortbread cookies, it’s important to pay attention to the details. Here are some tips to ensure you get perfect results every time.

First, make sure your butter is at room temperature. Softened butter combines more easily with other ingredients and helps create a tender crumb in your shortbread cookies. If your butter is too cold or too soft, it can affect the texture and overall taste of your cookies.

Measuring ingredients properly is crucial as well. Use measuring cups and spoons to ensure you have the right amount of each ingredient before adding them together. Sift the flour before you measure it to prevent clumps from forming in your dough.

Additionally, don’t overmix your dough. Mix until everything is just combined, but don’t keep going until it looks perfectly smooth or you risk overworking the dough or activating too much gluten. This, in turn, will create tough cookies instead of that crumbly melt-in-your-mouth feel that defines shortbread.

It’s also important to take note of the cooking time as ovens vary in terms of temperature maintenance and baking speed. While most recipes suggest a certain cook time averages at around 10-12 minutes for this particular recipe depending on your oven, check periodically so that they come out perfectly cooked and lightly golden brown.

Finally, always chill the dough before cutting into rounds and baking. This ensures that the cookies do not spread during baking, allowing them to maintain their delightful shape and texture.

Using these tips as a guide will help make sure you end up with perfectly baked cranberry pistachio shortbread cookies every single time.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Recipe is a delicious and flavorful dessert that is perfect for any occasion. The combination of buttery shortbread, tangy cranberries, and crunchy pistachios make this recipe a crowd-pleaser that will leave your taste buds craving for more. Whether you are making these cookies for Christmas or any other special event, they are sure to impress.

With simple instructions and easy-to-find ingredients, this recipe is perfect for both novice and experienced bakers alike. And if you’re looking to mix things up, there are plenty of substitutions and variations you can make to fit your preferences.

So go ahead and give this recipe a try. Whip up a batch of Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Cookies, sit back, and enjoy the heavenly aroma filling your home. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you!

Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread

Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Recipe

The Bread Farm, in the tiny town of Edison, Wa, not only makes great Artisanal Breads, but fabulous shortbread too. I adapted a recipe from the web to try and match theirs. Does not include chill time
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Western
Servings 4 dozen
Calories 989.7 kcal


  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature (see note)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped


  • In a large bowl whisk the flour with the salt and cinnamon.
  • In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter until smooth (about 1 – 2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until smooth and creamy (about 3 minutes). Beat in the zest and vanilla extract. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Fold in the chopped pistachios and dried cranberries. (Make sure that the nuts and cranberries are evenly distributed throughout the dough.).
  • Divide the dough in half. Place each half of dough on the center of a 14 inch (35 cm) length of parchment or wax paper (plastic wrap will work too). Smooth and shape the dough into an evenly shaped rectangle that is about 10 inches (25 cm) long and 2 inches (5 cm) wide. Then thoroughly wrap the shaped logs in the parchment or wax paper, twists the ends of the paper to seal the logs, and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours, or up to three days. (The logs can also be frozen for about two months. If freezing, it is best to defrost the logs in the refrigerator overnight before slicing and baking.).
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) with the rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Using a thin bladed knife, slice the logs into ¼ to ½ inch (.5 to 1 cm) thick cookies. If dough is too hard to slice you may need to let the log set our for 5 minutes. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.
  • Bake for about 15 – 18 minutes, or until the cookies are just beginning to brown around the edges. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Check at 12 minutes - the type of pan you use can really make a big difference in cooking time.
  • Note. The original recipe calls for unsalted butter, I prefer my shortbread with salted butter, so try it either way.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 885gCalories: 989.7kcalCarbohydrates: 101gProtein: 14.4gFat: 60.7gSaturated Fat: 31gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 626mgFiber: 6.5gSugar: 37g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Asian, Cookie and Brownie, Dessert, Middle Eastern
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