Cranberry Shortbread Cookies are light and buttery just like traditional shortbread with a hint of tartness from bits of cranberry. In other words, they are delicious! I’ve added white chocolate chips for a decadent Cookie Recipe that is perfect for any dessert tray.
Scottish Shortbread is one of my all-time favorite cookies. As a child, my parents often traveled to the UK and we counted the days until they returned with tins of shortbread and packets of airline peanuts for all of us.
Today, shortbread cookies are easy to find at the local grocery store. BUT, they aren’t like these Cranberry Shortbread Cookies. These little beauties have bits of cranberry and white chocolate chips sprinkled throughout the dough. They are rolled thin and cut out with cookie cutters to give them a delicate “snap” when you bite into them.
Don’t wait for a European vacation to enjoy shortbread at home, you won’t believe how fast and easy these Cranberry Shortbread Cookies are to make at home.
There is nothing fancy about the technique for mixing these cookies and no expensive, imported ingredients are required. You can whip up a batch in no time.
Tips for making Cranberry Shortbread Cookies-
- Use a good quality REAL butter for this recipe. You do not need to import European butter, just make sure it is REAL butter with a high fat content so that there is less water in the butter.
- You can buy good quality butter at your local grocery store. I usually use Challenge Butter Unsalted for baking but, there are several other good butters available (Tillamook, Land-O-Lakes and even some store brands, for example).
- Make sure the butter is NOT whipped. Whipped butter has air worked through the butter and it will not give you the same result.
- Fresh butter only, please. Butter picks up flavors from other foods in the refrigerator so, make sure your butter is as fresh as possible.
- Chill the dough for 30 minutes. Chilling the dough will firm up the butter and relax the gluten.
How to mix Cranberry Shortbread Cookies Dough-
Set the butter out to soften. The butter should be soft but not melted or “too” soft.
Chop the dried cranberries. The smaller, the better.
Measure all ingredients and have them ready before you begin. This is called mise en place (everything in its place) and it’s a good idea to do this before you start any recipe. I have gotten halfway through a recipe and realized I was out of some ingredients before.
Cream the butter and the sugar together until fluffy. Use an electric mixer if available. Then, quickly blend in the vanilla.
Sift the flour, cornstarch and salt together.
Gradually, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Stir only enough to barely incorporate the flour.
DO NOT OVER MIX. Over mixing the dough will lead to a tough shortbread cookie.
Gently, stir in the chopped cranberries and the white chocolate chips.
Form the dough into a ball or disk. I sometimes cut the dough in half and make two balls so that it is easier to work with on my small counter and I don’t overwork the dough.
Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes to rest the gluten and chill the butter.
How to Bake Cranberry Shortbread Cookies-
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Shortbread Cookies bake at a lower temperature than most cookies.
Grease a cookie sheet OR
Line the baking sheet with parchment paper. If you are using a dark, non-stick cookie sheet, the parchment is especially helpful in keeping the bottoms of the cookies from burning or getting too dark.
Place the cookies on a cool cookie sheet. Use a spatula if it looks like the cookies are soft and are loosing their shape.
Let the cookie sheet cool before setting the next batch of cookies on it (if you re-use the same pan for each batch of cookies) . This will keep the butter from becoming too soft before the cookies even reach the oven.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. The cookies should be very lightly golden brown around the edges but remain a very “blonde” cookie.
Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer them to a wire rake to cool completely.
You will LOVE these Cranberry Shortbread Cookies with White Chocolate Chips! I know my family does.
I have made them to give away as gifts, serve at “tea” and bridal showers and other “girlie” events.
But, I usually make these cookies just for my family to eat and enjoy.
They really are delicious all year ’round, their light texture makes the perfect for Spring and Summer and the tartness of the cranberries make them a Fall and Winter treat.
Don’t forget to put them on your Holiday Cookie Trays!
If you have any questions about this recipe or about anything Southwest, you can leave a comment on this post OR you can always find me on Everyday Southwest’s Facebook Page. Please tag me in your comment so I will get your message right away.
I love hearing from you!
Cranberry Shortbread Cookies with White Chocolate Chips
- 1 cup butter softened
- ½ cup icing sugar or powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup corn starch
- ½ cup finely chopped dried cranberries
- ½ cup white chocolate chips
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 325 F.
- In a large bowl use an electric mixer to cream the butter until light and creamy.
- Mix in the vanilla.
- Gradually add the icing sugar to the butter mixture beating well.
- In a medium bowl mix together the flour and cornstarch.
- Gradually stir the flour/cornstarch mix into the creamed mixture until just incorporated.
- Fold in the cranberries and white chocolate. Mix just enough to evenly combine.
- Use your hands to form the dough into a ball.
- On a floured surface roll the dough to about ¼ inch thick.
- Use a 2 ½ inch round cutter to cut out cookies and place on prepared pans.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until just set and very lightly browned on the edges.
- Allow to cool on the pans for 5 minutes before removing cookies to wire rack to cool completely.