Looking for easy cranberry recipes this month? This mouthwatering homemade shortbread takes only minutes to assemble and has a rich but simple flavor. Since I stock up on cranberries every fall, I am always looking for new ways to use them. I mean, cranberry sauce is delicious but I don’t want to eat it every day! However, I would happily gorge myself on shortbread cookies all year round! I added fresh orange zest to this cranberry shortbread cookie recipe and I think the two flavors blend beautifully together!
What are Shortbread Cookies?
Shortbread cookies are seriously the simplest cookie you can possibly make. Just butter, flour, a small amount of sugar and whatever flavor or add in you want to include. Today’s shortbread cookies used cranberries and orange zest. But if you want something more exotic, try my lavender shortbread cookies. If you have a bit more time for rolling and cutting, make my easy gingerbread cookies.
What are shortbread cookies made of?
What is the difference between a sugar cookie and a shortbread cookie? Sugar cookies tend to me MUCH sweeter and have a ton more ingredients like eggs, vanilla, etc. The beauty of homemade shortbread is in it’s simple ingredients and buttery flavor. Basically, the ingredients are just one part white sugar, two parts butter, and three parts flour.
Why are shortbread cookies called shortbread?
Why do they call it shortbread? The term short, when applied to biscuits and pastry, means crumbly. The large percentage of butter in a shortbread cookie recipe makes the texture very crumbly. Hence, the name ‘shortbread’.
More Cranberry Recipes
- Cranberry Blue Cheese Spread
- Fresh Cranberry Butter Recipe with Orange and Vanilla
- Cranberry Bliss Bar
Tips for Making Homemade Shortbread Cookies
Ok, shortbread cookies are incredibly simple to make, but, these tips will make them even easier. Use only REAL butter. There is no substitute! You will need it to be very soft. I recommend leaving it at room temperature overnight so that it is soft enough to blend easily in with the rest of the ingredients.
In addition, finely chop your add ins. You don’t want large chunks of stuff in your shortbread cookies. It will be much harder to slice. I used a food processor to finely chop the fresh cranberries. Don’t worry about baking the dough immediately. You can store the rolled dough in the refrigerator for several days.
How do you know when shortbread cookies are done?
This cranberry shortbread cookie recipe really does not really brown much, even when they are done cooking. You will just be able to see a slight browning around the edges. Do not overcook!
If you want a shape other than round, check out Amazon for some beautiful shortbread pans. You can get some amazing patterns in your shortbread by making them in a traditional shortbread pan.
Cranberry Shortbread Cookie Recipe
This easy shortbread cookie recipe is perfect for fall entertaining. Make up the dough ahead of time and bake right before your guests arrive. And if you have extra cranberries, use them in my homemade cranberry scrub or make Cranberry Wreath DIY Place Cards!
Orange zest and fresh cranberries give these homemade shortbread cookies loads of flavor. This Cranberry Shortbread Cookie recipe is seriously addictive! This shortbread dough will stay good in the refrigerator for several days. Nutrition information not always accurate.
Cranberry Shortbread Cookie Recipe
Serving Size: 2
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 248Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 122mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 2g
Orange zest and fresh cranberries give these homemade shortbread cookies loads of flavor. This Cranberry Shortbread Cookie recipe is seriously addictive!
This shortbread dough will stay good in the refrigerator for several days.
Nutrition information not always accurate.
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire and has worked in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging and freelance writing to share this knowledge with others. Learn more about her HERE.
30 thoughts on “Cranberry Shortbread Cookie Recipe with Orange Zest”
Can’t wait to try these! I, too, have cranberries to use. Thanks for posting this one. Merry Christmas!
Hope you enjoy! Merry Christmas to you too!
Hi, wonderful recipe. I was just wondering if dried cranberries could be used in place of fresh?
They would probably work just fine!
I used dried cranberries. Put them into a an electric food chopper or processor. Added about 1/4 cup of sugar. The sugar coated them nicely when ground. Made for even distribution throughout the dough.
Thanks for the great tip!
I made these cookies today and they spread out instead of keeping their shape. I used real butter and left the m in the frig overnight. What went wrong?
Im not really sure. Not enough flour can cause spreading, as can an oven that is too hot, I think? If you try again, you may want to add more flour.
Two things that I’ve noticed effect my cookies: 1) be sure you are using pure cane granulated sugar. Generic sugar is made from beets not cane. I stick with either C&H or Domino; 2) use a quality flour. Again, generic flour will not give you good results. My go-to flour is King Arthur brand. I don’t know what they do to generic flour, but it does not work well for baking.
I am a huge fan of King Arthur Flour. And I agree that quality ingredients when baking really do make a big difference.
Does this recipe call for white granulated sugar?
yes. that is the type of sugar I used.
Hi, what texture do these cookies have? Are these crisp or soft?
They are fairly crisp but not hard? It seems to be a typical shortbread consistency to me….
Can these be made with almond flour?
I have never tried baking with almond flour so Im not quite sure how they would turn out, sorry!
Made these – absolutely perfect – thank you 🙂
So glad you enjoyed them!
Do you think it would be possible to use frozen cranberries?
you can certainly try. Might want to thaw and drain in case they are too watery?
are these freezable…
I have not tried to freeze them, however, I recommend that if you do, you slice, freeze on a cookie sheet, then put in a plastic storage bag in the freezer until baking.
These sound very good. Going to put them on my Christmas cookie list this year. I bet some finely chopped walnuts would be good in these.
Hope you enjoy!
What kind of butter? Salted or unsalted? Thanks.
I always choose unsalted whenever possible.
How long do they last?
I would keep them in a sealed container at room temperature and they should last several days with no problem.
Very good recipe, but I’m a big fan of shortbread. 1 batch plain, 1 batch with orange zest n 1 batch drizzled with icing. I think it needs something on top as they are a hair dry. Overall, this recipe is an absolute 💯 keeper.
Glad you enjoyed it. Icing sounds fabulous!