Cranberry Walnut Shortbread Cookies are a favourite at my house over the holidays. Don’t you love cookies over the holidays? Shortbread is the official cookie of the holidays, (or, at least, one of the many). The holidays are all about decadence and feasting. And, it’s amazing how the simplicity of butter, sugar, and flour can become the melt in your mouth true decadence of a shortbread cookie.
Fun fact: This cookie has staying power. Shortbread originated in Scotland, possibly as long ago as the 12th century. In the 16th century, Mary, Queen of Scots was said to be very fond of them. This is according to Bon Appétit in this fun article: Is Homemade Shortbread Worth the Effort? And, yes, yes it is.
These Cranberry Walnut Shortbread Cookies are made with a classic brown sugar shortbread. But then, you add tart cranberries and the crunch of toasted walnuts to perfectly balance out the rich, buttery sweetness of these cookies. These cookies are festive and deliciously decadent.
Fresh Vs Dried Cranberries
Cheerful, bright red cranberries add a festive appearance, and a delicious tartness to these buttery little gems, as an added bonus. You could substitute dried cranberries, but I love the “freshness” of fresh ones. Especially at this time of year, when we (at least here in Canada), don’t have a lot of freshness to choose from. Cranberries, although harvested in the fall, keep for a long time. And we get to use fresh ones during the winter.
Walnuts add a little bit of a bitter hint to all the sweet richness of this buttery shortbread, which, I love. Those walnuts are local, too, frozen for the winter, but perfect for so many recipes. We are fortunate to be able to get them, grown right here.
Are Cranberry Walnut Shortbread Cookies Hard to Make?
No! Shortbread is probably one of the simpler cookies that you can make. This shortbread dough is really easy, and you can keep the dough in the fridge or freezer to bake later on. And if you are in the mood to bake up some more treats, try these:
- Ginger Cookies Recipe (Chewy Crinkles)
- Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies
- Double Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
- Cranberry Date Squares Recipe
- Butter Tart Squares
Cranberry Walnut Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp 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 into balls.
- 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 1/4 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.