For as long as I can remember, Shortbread Cookies have been a Christmas tradition in our home.
Back when I was first married, every December, I would spend hours pouring over recipe books and magazines in search of the perfect holiday treats. Then, my mom and I would get together a couple of days before Christmas for an epic, daylong baking session. By the end of the day, we would be very tired; but it was well worth it because we would each have tins full of cookies, squares, and other holiday treats!
We did the same thing the next year and then the next and just like that, a Christmas tradition was born.
We always had so much fun as we laughed and talked over sugar cookie dough, Hello Dolly Squares, Peanut Butter Balls, moms “Black & White” Squares, aka Nanaimo Bars and of course, Shortbread Cookies.
My mom passed away several years ago. When I look back on past Christmases, spending that time with her is one of my favourite memories.
My daughter and I have continued the fun tradition and one of the recipes that are always on our “to make” list is a big batch Shortbread Cookies
Last year I decided to add some chopped cranberries and chopped pistachios to my traditional shortbread dough and was thrilled with the result. This new version, Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Cookies is a modern twist on the Christmas classic.
Mix together the butter and icing sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Chop the dried cranberries and pistachios into small pieces.
Mix on low speed just until the dough starts to come together.
Stir in the cranberries and pistachios and mix just enough to combine.
At this point, you may need to use your hands to squeeze and work the dough together.
Shape dough into three or four rolls, each about 1 1/2″ or 3.5cm in diameter.
Wrap each roll in plastic and then lifting the roll by the plastic ends, twirl to close and form a nice rounded log.
- 1 lb. (2 cups) softened butter. (This is one recipe where you MUST use butter, not margarine. You will not have the same result with margarine.)
- 1 cup icing (confectioners) sugar
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¾ cup chopped dried cranberries
- ¾ cup chopped unsalted pistachios
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or with a hand-held mixer), mix together the butter and icing sugar until they are creamy.
- Add the vanilla, mix to combine.
- Sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together.
- Stir in chopped cranberries and pistachios and mix to combine.
- Dump dough onto a surface dusted with flour.
- At this point, you may need to use your hands to squeeze and work the dough together.
- Shape into three or four rolls, each about 1½" or 3.5cm in diameter.
- Wrap each roll in plastic and then lifting the roll by the plastic ends, twirl to close and form a nice rounded log.
- Chill for at least one hour. (May be chilled overnight)
- When ready to bake the cookies slice roll ¼ " ( 0.5cm) thick and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake in a 325-degree oven for approximately 15-20 minutes or until very lightly browned around the edges.
- Remove to cooling rack Cool completely before storing at room temperature, in an airtight container.
As always, if you have any questions at all, feel free to ask and I will do my very best to answer.
Do you have any Christmas baking traditions?
What sweet treats do you like to have on hand over the holidays?
What is your favourite Christmas treat?