These Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Cookies are simple slice and bake cookies that are perfect for any holiday cookie tray!
Can you believe the Christmas season is right around the corner? Every year, I think I should have plenty of time to decorate the house, put up a Christmas tree, buy presents, wrap the gifts, bake cookies and make cookie trays. Well, it's that time of year to start planning.
First up on my list is planning what cookies to make for my holiday cookie tray. I do not bake much during the year but when the holidays come, it's a different story. But I always make cookies that are easy and simple like these pistachio shortbread cookies. Plus the red cranberries and green pistachios make a perfect festive cookie for the holiday season.
Slice and bake cookies are so easy because you can make the dough in advance and store it in the fridge or freezer until you are ready for a fresh batch. These buttery cookies definitely fit the bill.
Ingredients Needed for Cranberry Pistachio Cookies
- Butter – Use salted butter that has been softened to room temperature.
- Confectionery Sugar – Also called confectioner's sugar or icing sugar this is a staple of holiday baking.
- Vanilla – Look for pure vanilla extract rather than vanilla flavoring.
- Flour – Use all-purpose flour.
- Dried Cranberries – Use dried sweetened cranberries rather than fresh.
- Pistachios – Roasted and shelled nuts will be easier to work with.
- Sprinkles – Colored sprinkles are optional but can add to the festive look of these cookies.
How To Make Slice and Bake Cookies
These festive shortbread cookies are fairly easy to make and I love that you can make the shortbread dough ahead of time and then bake them at your convenience. They are slice and bake cookies which means that you mix the dough, shape it into big rectangles, then slice the shaped logs right before baking.
- Cream butter with the confectionery sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well-combined, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla and flour and mix until just combined.
- Place the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper and roll into a 2 to 3 inch diameter log. Shape into a more square form if desired. Wrap the dough tightly in the wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Slice the cookie dough with a sharp knife into half inch slices and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with colored sugars if desired. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden brown. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and cool for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to continue cooling. Store in an airtight container.
See recipe card below for ingredient amounts and full instructions.
- Change the flavor profile - Instead of using vanilla, add some almond extract or orange zest to the flour mixture.
- Chocolate Drizzle - Melt some white or dark chocolate and drizzle over the finished cookies.
- Festive Pop - Roll the dough logs in festive red or green color sugar or sprinkles before slicing.
- Vary the nuts - Pecans, walnuts or almonds can be used instead of pistachios.
Tips for Storing Your Holiday Cookies
Keeping cookies fresh is always important but especially during the holidays and especially if you plan to give cookies as a gift. Generally, most cookies can be kept at room temperature for three days in an airtight container (if they last that long) but follow these steps to get the best shelf-life from your cookies.
- Cool Completely – Never store warm cookies as this will cause moisture and condensation to form. Cool cookies on a wire rack before storing in containers.
- Store Similar Cookies Together – Store soft, moist cookies with other soft cookies. Cookies that should be crisp and firm should always be stored seperately.
- Layer – Place layers of parchment paper between cookies to prevent them from sticking together.
- Keep Them Cool – Storing in the fridge or the freezer can extend the shelf-life of cookies.
- Freeze the Dough – Slice and bake cookies like these cranberry shortbread cookies can be frozen in a log before they are baked. Just thaw for a few minutes on the counter before slicing and baking as directed.
More Holiday Cookie Recipes
- Nut free Cinnamon Snowball Cookies
- Soft Sugar Cookies with Sprinkles
- Palmiers Cookies ( AKA Elephant Ears)
- Easy Fruitcake Cookies vai Everyday Eileen
- Little Monster Cookie Bites
- Peppermint Chocolate Cookies via Swirls of Flavor
These pistachio shortbread cookies studdend with cranberries are the perfect festive touch for your cookie tray.
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Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup salted butter softened
- ¾ cup confectionery sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- ½ cup sweetened dried cranberries
- ½ cup shelled roasted pistachios
- colored sprinkles if desired
- Cream together the butter and confectionery sugar with an electric mixer until well-combined, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla and flour and mix until just combined.
- Place the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and roll into a 2 to 3 inch diameter log. Shape into a more square form if desired. Wrap the dough tightly in the wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. Slice the cookie dough into half inch slices and place onto the sheet. Sprinkle with colored sugars if desired. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a baking rack to continue cooling. Store in an airtight container.