Dried Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

I like giving practical gifts. Meaning something really usable or edible. It could be a little easier for myself as I am a baker. And the fact that everyone loves home-made food really encourages me to bake and pack and give. Most importantly, your gift receiver will never have to throw away or donate your gift right away.

Cookies made the perfect gift. Recently I’ve started to do a lot of cookie baking for my clients and my friends, just because everyone loves cookies. And they store well. I am baking and packing a few pieces of each of my cookie collections in a box. And it becomes a very heart-warming and lovely Christmas gift.

dried cranberry shortbread cookies dried cranberry shortbread cookies

These dried cranberry shortbread cookies can go by themselves without the dried cranberries. Classic and simple like these. Yet they are also unbelievably versatile that you can actually add whatever you like. Dried fruits, nuts, espresso or cocoa powder, dried herbs, citrus zest…ANYTHING!

Ingredients (about 40 cookies):
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup finely chopped dried cranberries

In a large bowl, sift the flour and salt.
Cream butter and powdered sugar in a bowl of a standing mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.
Reduce the speed to low and beat in the flour mixture and dried cranberries until just incorporated.
Gather dough and form a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to chill.
Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into rounds or other shapes using a floured cookie cutter. Place on the prepared baking sheets and place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned.
Remove from oven and let the cookies cool a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.


  1. I added some orange zest and a bit of orange juice. After baking I’ll dip the tops in a glaze of powdered sugar and orange juice. They’re chilling now can’t wait to eat them!

  2. These turned out so good tonight! One was cranberry and the other pistachio with lemon.mmmmmm Happy Holidays to you!

  3. Hi! Just wanted to let you know that I make this all the time and it comes out perfectly each time! I roll it in a log and slice and bake it. Thank you for the recipe!

  4. hi fanny, i tried making your shortbread but they were very crumbly and i couldnt get it round and smooth like yours. what could have possibly happened? i di follow the instructions. thank you

  5. Hi, how long will these keep once baked and stored in an airtight container?

  6. Made these and they are falling apart when you pick them up its like something is missing .. Seems like it should be dryer not so buttery wet

    1. My guess is the cookies were a little too warm/soft when baking. Try freeze the cut-out cookie dough for 10 minutes before baking. :)

    1. My guess is the cookies were a little too warm/soft when baking. Try freeze the cut-out cookie dough for 10 minutes before baking. :)

      1. cookies taste great! but i still dont understand why they spread out that much. i froze dough before cutting and kept in fridge before baking

  7. the dough is very crumbly and I can not make a disc .what can I doPlease respond A.S.A.P.

    1. Hi Madelyn, before you gather dough together, make sure you are able to get the crumbs to bind when pinched the dough with fingers. :)

    1. Hi Jeanne, yes, you can definitely slice the dough instead of using cookie cutter to cut it. :)

  8. Hi! Can I know yr 2 cups of all purpose flour and 1/2 cup of confectionery sugar in grams? There’r different standards of measurement so may I know the exact gram for the above two ingredients? Thanks!

    1. Hi Joanna, a cup of flour / powdered sugar is 128 grams.
      2 cups flour = 256 grams
      1/2 cup confectionery sugar = 64 grams

    1. Yes, Carol! You can totally freeze the baked cookies. I like to cut out the dough, freeze the unbaked cookies, and bake them right before I need them! :)

  9. Hoping to try this recipe but I’m not sure what you mean by 2 stocks of butter…roughly how much is that in cups? Thanks!

  10. Thank you Fanny, but I am doing a school task for Food Tech, 40 cookies are too many for me. Thank you for the recipe again.

    1. I wouldn’t suggest to halve the quantity. You could halve the cookie dough and freeze it for future use though. The total time for preparing to finishing baking should be less than an hour.

    1. Hi Brenda, what I always do is to freeze the unbaked cookies (after the dough is cut into circles). When I am ready to use them, I place the frozen cookies on a cookie sheet and bake for a minute or two longer. :)

    1. Hi Tracy, so happy that you enjoyed the recipe! And I agree that the dried cranberries are really great for these cookies! :)

  11. Hi…This recipe sounds great, but I don’t know what you mean by “form a dish” with the dough. Could you please clear that up for me? Thanks!

    1. Hi Christina, a “disc” is a flatten cookie dough. It will be easier to roll after it’s chilled. Imagine to flatten your dough into a giant cookie. :)

  12. I just made a beautiful batch of these up and my kids are loving them! This recipe is a keeper!Fanny, could you add almond extract instead of vanilla, or would this alter them entirely?

    1. I am so happy to hear that, Denise! Without the dried cranberries, the recipe itself is actually a classic shortbread recipe. You can add whatever you want. Almond extract plus some almonds would be a great alternative!

  13. Thanks, Jessica. :D Try this if you have time. It’s really easy to make. Hope you will enjoy it.

  14. I did a cranberry post a few days back and now cranberries have become a new Christmas time obsession. So as soon as I saw this post I justhad to click. I like the idea of giving them as gifts as well. This is a really good post.

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