These Cranberry Shortbread Cookies with Walnuts are melt-in-your-mouth, buttery and decadent shortbread perfect for your holiday cookie tray. The cranberries and walnuts liven up shortbread and make these delicious and festive. Best of all, they couldn't be easier to make!
Why You'll Love These Cookies
Cranberries and Walnuts are so delicious together in sweet treats like Cranberry Walnut Bread, or Cranberry Apple Oatmeal Muffins. These cranberry shortbread cookies are no exception and they may be destined to become a new family favourite holiday cookie.
- The cookies only take 30 minutes of prep and baking time.
- You can store the dough in the fridge for up to three days before baking, so it's great for make-ahead. Especially during the busy holiday season.
- You can also freeze the dough for up to a month.
Is Shortbread Hard to Make?
Not at all! Shortbread is probably one of the simpler cookies that you can make. The dough itself requires only five ingredients, and from start to finish, you can have 60 cookies made in just half an hour. Oh, and I promise, adding the cranberries and walnuts in this recipe doesn't add much time or any difficulty! Best of all, shortbread cookies are great to make ahead of time. I like to make a batch and keep the dough in the freezer; then I can bring them out to bake when it's time for Christmas cookie decorating or just an afternoon snack.
Here's What You Need to Make This Cookie Recipe
- Unsalted butter Of course, it goes without saying that only real butter will do.
- Brown sugar I use dark brown sugar here because I love the slight molasses flavour that it gives the cookies, but light brown sugar works just fine, too.
- All-purpose flour You can use an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend too.
- Fresh cranberries You can also use frozen, thawed cranberries.
- Walnuts If you buy walnuts already chopped, it saves a step. You can substitute pecans, too.
How to Make This Recipe, Step By Step
2. Beat together the butter, brown sugar and vanilla.
2. Add the flour and salt and beat until smooth.
3. Stir in cranberries and walnuts
4. Divide dough in half, form into a ball and chill.
5. Roll out the dough, cut out the cookies, and bake.
Tips for Perfect Shortbread
- Chill the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before rolling and cutting out the cookies. Then if possible, chill again on the baking sheets for at least 30 minutes. This step keeps the butter cold and allows the cookies to hold their shape.
- Use fresh cranberries if possible. They are easy to find in the produce section during the winter months and they really make this recipe.
- Toasting the walnuts brings out a warm nuttiness in them, mellows and deepens their flavour and makes them crisper. There are two ways to do it:
- In the oven. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.
- In a skillet. Toast over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- For both methods, you will need to watch them carefully so that they don't burn. Remove them from the oven/heat as soon as they begin to turn a darker brown and become fragrant.
More Holiday Cookies To Try
- Ginger Crinkle Cookies
- Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies
- Butter Tart Squares
- Double Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
Cranberry Walnut Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped fresh cranberries
- 1 cup chopped walnuts toasted
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
- Using a mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth.
- Add flour and salt and beat until a soft dough forms.
- Stir in cranberries and walnuts.
- Divide the dough in half and roll each half into a ball.
- At this point, you can wrap the balls in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to a week, or freezer for up to a month.
- Between two sheets of parchment paper, roll out dough, one ball at a time, to ¼ inch thick.
- Using a cookie cutter, cut into rounds and transfer to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in center of the oven for 10 minutes, or until edges turn golden.
- Remove from oven, transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
- In the oven. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and bake 8-10 minutes.
- In a skillet. Toast over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring half way through.