Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

These Cranberry Shortbread Cookies are irresistibly soft, buttery, and studded with chopped dried cranberries. To make them even more delightful, they’re decorated with a drizzle of white chocolate and shimmering silver nonpareils for a festive sparkle. An ideal recipe for cookie exchange parties, holiday platters, and tea time!

A pile of square-shaped butter cookies on a white doily.

Cranberry Shortbread Cookies…

These are delicious cookies! They are easy to make, chill, and slice before baking. They’re not too sweet, and everyone loves the subtle tart flavor of cranberry in every bite.

Perfect for this time of year. Ideal cookies for all the holiday festivities, especially our favorite cookie exchange parties, and even tea time!

A wire rack filled with baked cookies drizzled with white chocolate and silver beads

Options to Decorate These Cookies…

There are so many ways to get creative with decorating these shortbread cookies.

  • Melted white chocolate always looks the prettiest with cranberry colors.
  • You can dip them in melted white chocolate, or use a fork to drizzle on top. Or “gently smear” a little white chocolate on a diagonal.
  • Then sprinkle with some shimmering silver nonpareils over them to give them that sparkling, festive look. (so pretty!)
  • Keep in mind, that they don’t have to be perfect, either. Just have fun with these cookies, grab a cup of your favorite coffee, and enjoy decorating them.
  • And, decorate them to your heart’s desires!
A white doily with cranberry speckled butter cookies displayed.

Ingredients for Cranberry Shortbread Cookies:

Let’s discuss the ingredients you will need for this recipe. For this recipe, there are 6 pantry ingredients:

1. DRIED CRANBERRIES: Choose dried cranberries and use a food processor to pulse them a few times to chop them finely. Then follow the directions on the recipe card.

2. FLOUR: any unbleached, all-purpose flour (I prefer King Arthur’s Flour brand). And, for a “softer and lighter” texture cookie, I used an Italian flour called Caputo Chef’s “00” Flour. It is a “soft-wheat” flour used for baking and pizza, and it gives a softer texture to baked goods, especially to these shortbread cookies. But, you can use an unbleached all-purpose flour as well.

3. POWDERED SUGAR: Powdered sugar is granulated white sugar pulverized to a fine powder, making these shortbread cookies lighter in texture.

4. VANILLA EXTRACT: Choose a good quality vanilla extract when baking.

5. SALT: Choose Himalayan salt over table salt. It contains over 84 minerals, including potassium, magnesium, and iron than table salt. And, it is less processed.

6. BUTTER: Choose unsalted butter for this recipe; it is important to have it at room temperature. You will need 2 sticks or 1 cup.

TO DECORATE: White chocolate chips for melting, and shimmering silver nonpareils to sprinkle over each cookie and make them festive!

How To Make These Delicious Cookies?

Only 4-Easy-To-Follow Steps to making our cranberry shortbread cookies: (*Full recipe card below!)

STEP 1: Measure 1 cup of dried cranberries and pulse a few times, until the cranberries are finely chopped. Add the flour and pulse a few times, to mix the chopped cranberries into the flour evenly.

STEP 2: Next, add the powdered sugar and vanilla, and pulse to combine. Then add in pieces of butter and pulse until a dough is formed.

STEP 3: Place the dough on a sheet of wax paper and roll it into a log, about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. NOTE: here is where you can shape it into either a“round-shaped log” (by rolling it), or “square-shaped log” by patting it flat on all 4 sides, as I did here (shown in the photo).

The cookie dough  is placed on wax paper, and shaped into a square log. by

FINAL STEP: Wrap the cookie dough with wax or plastic wrap and tightly twist each end of the wrap. Chill dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or more before cutting and baking.

A long square log of cookie dough on sheet of wax paper.

When Ready To Bake…

1. Preheat the oven. Then remove chilled cookie dough from the fridge and remove it from its plastic wrap.

2. Next, place it on a cutting board, and slice the cookie log, into about 1/3-inch thick pieces.

3. Place them on 2 cookie sheets, lined with parchment paper.

Chilled cookie dough sliced on a cutting board, then onto a cookie sheet.

4. Bake these cookies for about 10 to 15 minutes, (depending on the oven you use) until the edges are golden brown. Allow them to cool completely before drizzling melted chocolate and decorating them. QUICK TIP: Place the cookies into the fridge, to cool them quickly.

Butter cookies are baked, resting on a baking sheet, and then decorated in the other photo.

Ready to decorate these cookies…

To Melt White Chocolate: Melt white chocolate, in a double boiler, and stir until all the chips are completely melted. Turn off the heat.

To Decorate: Pour a tablespoon of nonpareils into a small bowl, and set it nearby. Take a fork to drizzle over each cookie or a knife to spread it on them, and as little or as much as you desire. Then dip or sprinkle with some shimmering nonpareils over them. Set them aside, until the chocolate on top completely sets.

Cranberry butter cookies displayed on a white doily in a plate.

Quick Tips for Success…

  • Do we need to chill the cookie dough? Yes, it is best to “chill” the log before baking.
  • Chilling the dough will make the “cutting” much easier and ensure the perfectly shaped cookie when baked.
  • When melting white chocolate: For best results use a double boiler. Be careful not to get any water into the chocolate, it will ruin it and you will have to start over.
  • Allow the chocolate to set on the cookies before storing them in a container.
  • For Gluten-Free? Keep in mind, that you can make these cookies using GF flour, the texture may turn out slightly different.

Storing and Freezing…

These cookies are best kept in a sealed container and kept in the fridge. Keeping them chilled will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks. They will freeze well also, kept in a sealed container for up to 2 months.

Additional cookie recipes to enjoy…

Yield: 3 dozen

Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

A pile of 4 butter cookies with icing and silver beads. by

Cranberry Shortbread Cookies are soft, buttery cookies that are studded with chopped dried cranberries and topped with a drizzle of white chocolate and shimmering silver nonpareils for a sparkling presentation. Easy, and fun to make, and most delicious!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 52 minutes


  • 1 cup (120g) of dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup (75g) of confectioners sugar
  • 2 cups (250g) of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Himalayan salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 16 Tbsp. (2 sticks) (226.8g) of unsalted butter, at room temperature - cut into 1-inch pieces


  • white chocolate chips or wafers
  • shimmering silver nonpareils


  1. In a food processor, add the cranberries and pulse a few times until they are finely chopped.
  2. Add the powdered sugar, salt, and flour and pulse a few times, to mix the chopped cranberries into the flour evenly.
  3. Next, add the vanilla, and chunks of butter, and pulse to combine and pulse until a dough is formed.
  4. Transfer the cookie dough onto a sheet of wax, or parchment paper. and roll it into a log, about 2 inches in diameter. Shape it into a round, or square log, then wrap it and place it into the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes or more. To Bake: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. (190C). Place a sheet of parchment paper on a large cookie sheet, and set it nearby.
  5. Remove the cookie dough from the fridge, set it on a cutting board, remove the wax wrapping, and slice the log into 1/3-inch thick disks. Lay each one on the prepared cookie sheet and about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, until golden around the edges. Remove from oven and allow them to rest for 5 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool thoroughly.
  7. Yields: 36 to 40 shortbread cookies


1. Use a double boiler to melt white chocolate. Place 3/4 cup of mini white chocolate chips and stir until they melt.

2. One cookie at a time, use a fork or knife to drizzle or spread white chocolate over each cookie.

3. Dip or sprinkle with the shimmering silver nonpareils. Set them aside until the chocolate sets. QUICK TIP! Here is where you can place them in the fridge to set the chocolate quickly.

Nutrition Information:


18 servings

Serving Size:

1 serving (2 cookies)

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 275Total Fat: 14.5gCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: .8gSugar: 11.1gProtein: 3g

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. You definitely took shortbread to another level with the drizzle of white chocolates and sprinkles.

    1. Aw, what a lovely compliment, and thanks so much, Karen. Hope you will get to try this recipe…. Have a great day!