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Gluten Free Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

Buttery and sweet, these Gluten Free Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Cookies are the perfect treat. Tangy dried cranberries and crunchy pistachios make them even more scrumptious.

A stack of cookies with cranberries and pistachios.

Easy Shortbread Cookies with Fruit and Nuts

In the world of cookies, big names like chocolate chip seem to get all the love – but don’t forget shortbread cookies! These super-simple sweet treats have an incredibly addictive flavor and texture, thanks to real butter and soft, powdered sugar.

Additionally, this Christmas-y recipe includes tartly sweet dried cranberries and satisfyingly savory pistachios. Made with a simple slice-and-bake technique, they are a recipe you’ll want to make again and again.

A cookie balanced on the rim of a glass of milk.

What Makes a Shortbread a Shortbread?

Shortbread is called shortbread because of its texture – crumbly and light rather than cakey or bread-y. In baking, “short” is an old-fashioned term that means crumbly. Shortbread is short because of its high butter content and lack of baking powder, soda, or yeast.

Cookie dough ingredients in dishes on a table.

The Ingredients You’ll Need

You know it’s a good recipe when you only need a handful of ingredients, right? These cranberry pistachio shortbread cookies only need seven ingredients to come together! Here’s the list:

  • Butter: You will need unsalted butter, softened to room temperature.
  • Powdered Sugar: You can use powdered sugar or caster sugar. Powdered sugar is often easier to find.
  • Flour: Use your favorite gluten free flour blend.
  • Salt 
  • Orange Zest: Make sure not to get any of the white pith from the orange peel in your zest.
  • Dried Cranberries: Chop the dried cranberries a bit.
  • Pistachios: Unsalted. Chop the pistachios as well.
Cookies next to a glass of milk, with one balanced on the rim of the glass.

How to Make Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

This recipe is as easy as mix, slice, and bake! And you can even get a head start by making the dough in advance and chilling or freezing it until you’re ready to bake.

  • Make the Cookie Dough. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Then turn the speed on the mixer to low, and add the flour, salt, and orange zest. Beat just combined. Then stir in the chopped cranberries and pistachios.
  • Roll It Up. Place two sheets of wax paper or parchment paper (at least 12 inches long) on your work surface. Roll up the dough in the paper, forming log shapes about 1 to 1 ½ inches (2-3 cm) in diameter. Roll up each paper to form a log and twist the ends.
  • Chill or Freeze. Place the cookie dough logs in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or up to 3 days. They can also be frozen for up to 2 months, in an airtight container, and then thawed overnight in the fridge before baking.
  • Bake the Shortbread Cookies. When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 325F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Take 1 log out of the fridge at a time, unwrap it, and slice it into cookies about ¼ – ⅓ inch thick. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet,  and bake for 14-17 minutes, or until the tops look set and around the edges are starting to turn golden brown.
  • Enjoy! 
Stacked shortbread cookies with pistachios and dried cranberries scattered on the table.

Tips and Variations

These sweet shortbread cookies are so tempting and so easy to make. Read on for some helpful tips to make this scrumptious recipe even simpler.

  • Substitutions: Dried cranberries are amazing with pistachio, but you could substitute other dried fruits as well, such as dried cherries.
  • Cutting the Cookies: This slice-and-bake recipe is easiest with a sharp knife – and be sure to rinse it with hot water if cookie dough starts to build up and cause it to stick to the slices.
  • Chill Time: Chilling is an essential stop to ensure that the cookies don’t spread too thinly in the oven. It also makes slicing much easier!
Cranberry pistachio cookies on a sheet of parchment.

How to Store Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

Storing these cookies is a breeze. They’ll keep at room temperature for up to a week! Just store them in an airtight container to keep them fresh.

Can I Freeze These?

Sure can! These shortbread cookies freeze very well for up to three months. Stack them in an airtight container or put them in a freezer bag, mark with the date, and you’re good to go.

A stack of cookies with cranberries and pistachios.

Gluten Free Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

Buttery and sweet, these Gluten Free Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread Cookies are the perfect treat. Tangy dried cranberries and crunchy pistachios make them even more scrumptious.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Chill Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 36 Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 ¼ cup gluten free flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries chopped
  • ¾ cup unsalted pistachios chopped

Instructions

  • With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  • Lower the speed on the mixer to low and add in the flour, salt and orange zest until just combined.
  • Stir in the chopped cranberries and pistachios.
  • Place two sheets of wax paper or parchment paper that are at least 12” long on the counter.
  • Roll the dough up in the wax/parchment paper, forming log shapes about 1 to 1 ½ inch (2-3 cm) in diameter. Roll up each paper to form a log and twist the ends.
  • Place the logs in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or up to 3 days.
  • Logs can be frozen for up to 2 months in a freezer container, then thaw overnight in the fridge before baking.
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 F ° and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Take 1 log out of the fridge at a time, unwrap the log and slice into cookies about ¼ – ⅓ inch thick.
  • Place cookies 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet and bake for 14-17 minutes, or until the tops look set and around the edges are starting to turn golden brown.
Course: Cookies
Cuisine: American

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