Cranberry Citrus Shortbread Cookies – intensely buttery, sweet and zesty cookies made from butter, sugar, flour, two kinds of citrus and whole cranberries. These boldly flavored slice and bake cookies will be a pretty addition to your festive dessert table!
This is one merry and bright holiday cookie recipe, Citrus Cranberry Shortbread Cookies, is a crisp, buttery shortbread cookie full of citrus zest and cranberries. The fresh citrus and tart cranberries were such a yummy combination our rowdy band of taste testers went crazy for them! We just know you’re going to like them!
Overview: How To Make Cranberry Citrus Shortbread Cookies
You’re going to love how easy these shortbread cookies are to make😀! All you do is mix the ingredients, chill, slice and bake. No rolling needed! It doesn’t get better than this for delicious shortbread cookies that will look (and taste) amazing on your holiday cookie tray.
Ingredients to Make Cranberry Citrus Shortbread Cookies
- Fresh Cranberries – fresh ones will leave pretty pink streaks in the cookies, but dried cranberries will work too.
- Vanilla Extract – the vanilla transforms the flavor of these cookies. If you like, add a few drops of almond flavoring too.
- Orange and Lemon – I recommend using fresh to take advantage of the oils in zest. If you’re using dried zest, use a little more to really get the citrus flavor.
- Butter – please only use butter for this recipe. Margarine will not work, the cookies will spread out and thin.. If using salted butter, omit the added salt in the recipe.
- Flour – all purpose flour works great for this recipe. Be sure to measure your flour carefully, see my method below.
The Trick To Measuring Dry Ingredients
Use a regular spoon, rather than a measuring cup or spoon, to lightly over-fill powdery or ground ingredient into your measuring tool. Then use a knife to scrape any excess off the top.
Spooning in the dry ingredients like flours or powdered sugars helps keep the ingredients from compacting, which can increase the amount and weight of the ingredient you’re measuring.
This method works well for flour, powdered sugar, baking powder, soda and spices.
This is what the finished dough will look like. It will be soft and easy to form.
Form the dough into a loaf on a sheet of plastic, then wrap tightly. The dough will need to chill for about an hour before you’ll be able to slice them cleanly.
Lay out the slices on a silicone baking mat or parchment paper to bake. Shortbread cookies should only spread out a tiny bit during baking. The cookie dough is full of butter and the colder the cookie dough, the less your shortbread cookies will over-spread.
Cranberry Citrus Shortbread Cookies
- Cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 – 6 minutes. Add vanilla, orange and lemon zest and beat until combined.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour with salt. Add to butter mixture and beat until just combined.
- Place cranberries in bottom of food processor and pulse a few times until chopped into pea size pieces. Or use a sharp knife to chop. Fold cranberries into cookie dough until equally dispersed.
- Form dough into a 3 x 6 loaf, wrap in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment or silicone mat.
- Slice dough into 1/2-inch slices. Arrange slices on baking sheet 1-inch apart. Bake until firm but not browned, 8 – 10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
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