Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

Seeing I’m posting this on the eve of election day I want it made clear that just because these have red in them, they are not republican cookies and have no political meaning. 🙂cranberryshortcake2

Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

Prep time

2 hours 10 mins

Cook time

10 mins

Total time

2 hours 20 mins 

Ok — I am a cranberry-aholic.  I love cranberries.  We make our own relishes and I use them in whatever way I can think of at the moment.  A friend of mine passed this along and I have to put it someplace where I can find it in the future — so here it is, and I hope you try it and enjoy it.

cranberryshortbread1Shortbread cookies are, perhaps, the king of cookies. Such simplicity — butter and flower and sugar  — at its’ most basic.  People have found opportunities to perk up their shortbreads but rarely have I tried a shortbread (except perhaps my candied ginger version) that tickles my tastebuds as much.

makes: 2½ dozen cookies


  • ½ cup dried cranberries (Craisins)
  • ¾ cups sugar, divided
  • 2½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup butter, cubed (and cold)
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 to 2 tbsp of fresh orange juice (otional)
  • additional sugar to coat cookies before baking if desired


  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Combine cranberries and ¼ cup of sugar in a food processor and process just until the cranberries are broken down into smaller pieces. Set aside.
  3. Combine flour and remaining sugar in a large bowl.
  4. Use a pastry cutter to cut in butter. You want very fine crumbs.
  5. Stir in extract, cranberries and sugar mixture, orange zest and orange juice (optional).
  6. Use your hands to knead the dough until it comes together and forms a ball. Work the dough JUST until it comes together – you don’t want to over-work it.
  7. Shape dough into a log about two inches in a diameter and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for two hours or up to 72 hours.
  8. Preheat oven to 325F.
  9. Cut slices of cookie dough about ¼ inch thick.
  10. Place about a half a cup of sugar in a bowl and coat the cookie slices with sugar.
  11. Place cookies on baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or just until cookies are set. Do not over bake. I pull mine at 10 minutes.
  12. Let cookies cool for several minutes on baking sheet before removing to cooling rack. Let cool completely.
  13. Store in airtight container for 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

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