Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Cookies are a delightful and visually stunning treat, perfect for the holiday season or as a sophisticated year-round snack. The recipe combines the classic, buttery richness of shortbread with the vibrant, contrasting flavors and textures of cranberries and pistachios.

The base of the cookie is a simple shortbread dough, known for its buttery, crumbly texture. This dough is typically made with high-quality unsalted butter, lending it a smooth, melt-in-your-mouth quality. To this, granulated sugar is added for sweetness and a bit of vanilla extract for depth of flavor. The flour, usually all-purpose, forms the structure of the cookie, and a pinch of salt balances the sweetness.

The stars of the show, dried cranberries, and chopped pistachios, are mixed into the dough. The cranberries offer a tart, chewy contrast to the rich dough, while the pistachios provide a nutty crunch and a pop of green color that looks festive against the reddish cranberries. These ingredients are not only flavorful but also create a beautiful mosaic-like appearance in each cookie slice.

Once the dough is prepared, it is often shaped into a log, wrapped in cling film or parchment paper, and chilled in the refrigerator. This chilling process makes the dough easier to slice into neat rounds and also helps the cookies maintain their shape while baking.

When ready to bake, the dough is sliced into uniform rounds, typically about a quarter-inch thick. The cookies are arranged on a baking sheet, sometimes lined with parchment paper for easy removal. The shortbread is then baked in a preheated oven until they are just starting to turn golden around the edges, which usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes. This short baking time ensures that the cookies remain tender and crumbly.

Once out of the oven, the cookies are allowed to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before being transferred to a wire rack. This step is crucial as it prevents the cookies from breaking apart while they are still soft.

The final product is a batch of elegant, festive cookies that are perfect for gifting or serving at holiday gatherings. The combination of tart cranberries, crunchy pistachios, and buttery shortbread is not only delicious but also visually appealing. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container and enjoyed over several days, making them a convenient and delightful treat.


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened for that perfect crumbly texture
2/3 cup granulated sugar for sweetness
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract for aroma
1/4 teaspoon salt to balance the flavors
2 cups all-purpose flour for the base
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped for a tart twist
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, chopped for a nutty crunch

1 tablespoon of orange zest (optional) for a citrusy lift


Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and get a baking sheet ready with parchment paper.
Cream the softened butter and sugar in a large bowl until it’s light and fluffy.
Mix in the vanilla extract and salt.
Gradually add in the flour, beating until a cohesive dough forms.
Gently fold in the cranberries and pistachios, and orange zest if you’re using it.
On a floured surface, roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness.
Cut into your favorite shapes and place them on the baking sheet.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the edges start to turn golden.

Let the cookies cool a bit on the sheet before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Serving Suggestion:
Once cooled, these Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Cookies are ready to enchant your taste buds. Share them with loved ones or enjoy a quiet moment of holiday bliss with these buttery, festive treats.

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