Friday, November 5, 2021

Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

Cranberry shortbread cookies are soft, buttery, and speckled with chopped pecans. Top with a drizzle of white chocolate for extra sweetness!

These white chocolate chip cranberry cookies are a hit at cookie swaps and bake sales, but they are also gorgeous enough for gifts!

Arrange them on a pretty plate or package them up in cellophane bags with a festive ribbon. You could even make an assortment with a few other varieties.

Peanut butter blossoms are a classic, while pumpkin spice snickerdoodles combine two deliciously warm flavors. Or, try a simple pignoli recipe for friends who are gluten-free!

Cranberry Shortbread Cookies stacked

How To Make Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

Mix up the dough with an electric mixer, then fold in the cranberries and nuts.

Transfer the mixture to a large piece of plastic wrap and roll into a log. Chill until firm.

Unwrap and slice into rounds about ½-inch thick. Bake on parchment lined pans until the bottoms start to brown.

Once the cranberry shortbread cookies have cooled, drizzle them with melted white chocolate chips.

white chocolate chip cranberry cookies ingre

Tips and Tricks

  • Use unsalted butter. Because salt content varies by brand, it’s better to control the amount yourself. If salted sticks are all you have on hand, reduce the amount of salt in the recipe to ¼ teaspoon.
  • Add some citrus! Include up to 2 tablespoons of orange zest for another layer of flavor to your cranberry cookies.
  • Forgot to soften your butter? Fill a tall glass with hot water, then pour out the liquid. Stand the stick of butter on its end and place the glass upside down over the top. The stick will be evenly softened in minutes!
  • Tip for chilling: While the freezer gets the dough cold very quickly, you can try refrigerating it for about an hour instead. It just needs to be solid enough to hold together since it starts out pretty crumbly.

cranberry cookies dough in bowl

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

cranberry shortbread cookies on baking sheet

FAQ - Common Recipe Questions

Can I use fresh cranberries instead of dried?

No - they will release too much liquid when baked, so dried cranberries are an absolute must for these treats!

How should I store white chocolate chip cranberry cookies?

These will last for up to 4 weeks at room temperature in an airtight container.

They will also keep in the freezer for the same amount of time - add a piece of parchment between layers and warm on the counter before serving.

white chocolate chip cranberry cookies drizzled

My dough is too crumbly. How do I fix it?

It’s normal for the dough to be a bit crumbly, but you can add a few drops of water if it still isn’t coming together.

You can also add a thin layer of softened butter to your hands to help form it on the sheet of plastic wrap.

Can I make the dough ahead of time?

Yes! It can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or kept in the freezer for up to 3 months after it has been rolled.

If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight before slicing and baking the cranberry shortbread cookies.

cranberry cookies with a bite taken out of the cookie


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cranberry shortbread cookies wide view

Yield: 15-16 cookies depending on thickness
Author: Donna Elick
Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

Cranberry shortbread cookies are soft, buttery, and speckled with chopped pecans. Top with a drizzle of white chocolate for extra sweetness!
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 10 MinInactive time: 45 HourTotal time: 45 H & 15 M


  • 10 tablespoons of unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips


  1. In a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer in a medium sized mixing bowl, cream together butter and vanilla extract.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and salt and mix until combined and smooth.
  3. Slowly add flour and mix well (scrape down bowl as needed).
  4. Fold in cranberries and chopped pecans (batter will be crumbly).
  5. Transfer dough to plastic wrap and press dough into a round log.
  6. Put the dough in the freezer for 45 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and take the dough out of the freezer and unwrap (let sit for 5-10 minutes if it is too hard to cut).
  8. Cut dough into 1/2 inch slices and put them on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes (rotate the pan after 5 minutes).
  9. Remove from the oven when the bottom of the cookie starts to brown and let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  10. Once the cookies are cool, heat the white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments until melted.
  11. Transfer the white chocolate to a zippered bag and cut the tip off to drizzle over cookies.
  12. Let cookies cool completely and enjoy!
  1. If your butter has been in the refrigerator and is not room temperature, heat in the microwave for 10 seconds at 50% power. Repeat if needed.
  2. Dough will be crumbly when you roll it in the plastic wrap.
  3. Dough can be refrigerated for 3 days or kept in the freezer for up to 3 months if you want to make it ahead of time.
  4. You could refrigerate the dough for 1 hour and see if it is solid enough to hold together instead of putting it in the freezer.

Cranberry Shortbread Cookies closeup

Originally published November 2021

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  1. With the shortbread cranberry cookies could i use almond flour?

  2. Has anyone tried to make this recipe with 1 for 1 Gluten free flour?


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