Thanksgiving is over and it’s time for the Christmas cookie baking to begin. In a nod to Thanksgiving, and because I had cranberries and oranges leftover…. Fresh Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies.
Growing up, my Grandma, who was a nurse, would receive gifts from patients. Usually it was food of some sort, and lots of cookies. Of course she shared those cookie with us. My favs were the Royal Dansk….you know, the ones that come in the blue tin.
There was something about that blue tin, with the paper dividers inside, and the different swirled cookies. Maybe it was the crisp, buttery deliciousness, or maybe it was just how special it made me feel to have my Grandma share her treats with us.
Even knowing that those cookies are a danish butter cookie, they remind me of a shortbread cookies, and I love them. Fresh Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies are my first cookie of the season for that reason.
Having had the flu for most of the Thanksgiving holiday….while it sucked, I had mixed these cookies prior to succumbing to a fever, and they held up in the frig for the 5 days was was ill. Definitely a “make ahead” recipe if you need too.
After making Thanksgiving dishes, I had cranberries and oranges galore. They needed to be used up. Orange zest was no problem, but I had never used fresh cranberries in cookies before. Dried was always the chosen route.
Well, move over dried cranberries, the fresh cranberries added a tartness to the buttery shortbread. Top that with the orange zest, and the cookie alone was a winner.
Christmas cookies have to go the extra mile though……bring in the white chocolate. Half dipped was my chosen method. White chocolate was like dipping them in snow. But, they needed a touch of green……pistachios. All the flavors in this cookie blend to make a spectacular treat. Not too sweet, not too tart….perfect!
For your first Christmas cookie of the season …..and if you have a few Thanksgiving remnants …..Fresh Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies are the cookie for you!
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup fresh cranberries, finely chopped
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 -10 ounce package white chocolate
- ⅓ cup pistachios chopped
- Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until well blended.
- Add flour ½ cup at a time until all the flour is incorporated. Add cranberries and orange zest stir to combine.
- Divide the dough in half and form into logs. Wrap each log in parchment paper or plastic wrap.
- Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Slice dough into ¼ inch rounds and place on lined baking sheets.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cookies start to brown.
- Remove from oven and place cookies on wire rack to cool. Keep the parchment lined sheet to place your dipped cookies on.
- Melt white chocolate according to package directions. Dip half of each cooled cookie into the melted white chocolate and place on the parchment lined sheets. Sprinkle with pistachios.
- Allow the white chocolate to dry. Store cookie in an airtight container.