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Simple Cranberry Pistachio Cookies Recipe

Plate of cranberry pistachio cookies
Plate of cranberry pistachio cookies - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Even if you already have a favorite cookie recipe, you are probably open to adding a new one to your repertoire. Dried cranberry pistachio shortbread cookies are a delightful blend of the rich, buttery texture of classic shortbread, punctuated by the tartness of dried cranberries and the crunchy, nutty goodness of pistachios. Their vibrant red and green colors naturally evoke festive holiday feelings, making them a perfect treat for the Christmas season.

However, their universally appealing taste ensures they're not just limited to the winter months. Whether you're pairing them with a cup of tea on a chilly December evening, or serving them up at a summer garden party, these cookies always hit the right note. The balance of sweetness and tartness, combined with their stunning visual appeal, ensures they are equally suitable for a casual family get-together or a more sophisticated soirée. No matter the time of year, these cookies (developed by Taylor Murray) promise a bite of joy and a hint of nostalgia.

Read more: The 20 Best Olive Oils For Cooking

Gather The Ingredients For Cranberry Pistachio Cookies

Ingredients for cranberry pistachio cookies
Ingredients for cranberry pistachio cookies - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

The base recipe for these cookies is a simple sugar cookie shortbread. Like most cookies of this type, the main ingredients include butter, sugar, egg, all-purpose flour, vanilla, salt, and baking powder for softness. Into the base cookie dough, we add dried cranberries and toasted chopped pistachios. These two ingredients can be interchanged for other dried fruits or nuts, like walnuts, dried apricots, or even chocolate chips.

Step 1: Preheat The Oven And Prepare The Pans

Hand turning oven dial
Hand turning oven dial - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Step 2: Combine The Dry Ingredients

Bowl of mixed dry ingredients
Bowl of mixed dry ingredients - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Step 3: Cream The Butter And Sugar

Butter and sugar in mixing bowl
Butter and sugar in mixing bowl - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

In a large mixing bowl, cream the softened butter and sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Step 4: Add The Egg And Vanilla

Cookie dough with egg and vanilla
Cookie dough with egg and vanilla - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Add in the egg and vanilla extract to the butter mixture and continue to mix until it's well combined.

Step 5: Fold In Dry Ingredients

Adding dry ingredients to dough
Adding dry ingredients to dough - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, mixing until just combined.

Step 6: Add Pistachios And Cranberries

Adding mix-ins to dough
Adding mix-ins to dough - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Gently fold in the toasted pistachios and dried cranberries until they are evenly distributed in the dough.

Step 7: Chill The Dough

Dough rolled into chilled log
Dough rolled into chilled log - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Turn the dough out onto a sheet or plastic wrap. Wrap tightly into a log about 1 ½ inches thick. Chill until firm, about 20 minutes.

Step 8: Prepare Cookies For Baking

Sliced cookies ready for baking
Sliced cookies ready for baking - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

When ready to bake, remove the dough from the refrigerator and slice dough ¼-inch thick. Place each cookie onto the prepared trays, leaving about 2 inches space between each.

Step 9: Bake The Cookies

Cookies baked on sheet tray
Cookies baked on sheet tray - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Place the cookies in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden. Be careful not to overbake them.

Step 10: Cool And Serve

Cooled cookies on plate
Cooled cookies on plate - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Once baked, remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Then, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Can I Substitute The Ingredients In This Recipe?

Plate of cranberries and pistachios
Plate of cranberries and pistachios - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

If you don't have pistachios on hand or are allergic, you can substitute with other nuts like almonds, walnuts, or pecans. Just ensure they're chopped into small pieces similar to the size of the pistachios in the recipe. The recipe calls for unsalted pistachios, but you can use salted pistachios instead. Just keep in mind this will add extra saltiness to the cookies and you may want to roll back the added salt. Other ingredients like chocolate chips or dried coconut flakes can also work well in this recipe.

The only ingredient we really wouldn't recommend substituting is the butter. While some recipes can allow for butter to be substituted for shortening or oil, that will not do well in this recipe. The butter plays an important role in both the flavor and texture due to its chemical composition of both fat and milk solids.

Can I Store These Cookies For Later?

Cookie dough with plastic wrap
Cookie dough with plastic wrap - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

The uncooked dough can be saved and baked later. Simply roll the dough into a log, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and then freeze. When you're ready to bake, slice off individual cookies and bake from frozen, adding a couple of extra minutes to the baking time. The frozen dough should last in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you prefer to slice ahead of time, store the sliced cookie dough between layers of wax paper, then wrap tightly before freezing.

The baked cookies can also be saved for later. After baking, store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature, where they'll stay fresh for up to a week. If you're looking to keep them longer, refrigerating can extend their life to two weeks, while freezing can preserve them for up to three months. Always ensure the cookies are completely cooled before storing to prevent them from becoming soggy. Enjoy your delicious treats!

Simple Cranberry Pistachio Cookies

Plate of cranberry pistachio cookies
Plate of cranberry pistachio cookies - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Prep Time: 15mCook Time: 15mYield: 24 CookiesIngredients

  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • ½ cup chopped toasted pistachios

  • ⅓ cup chopped dried cranberries

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the softened butter and sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

  4. Add in the egg and vanilla extract to the butter mixture and continue to mix until it's well combined.

  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, mixing until just combined.

  6. Gently fold in the toasted pistachios and dried cranberries until they are evenly distributed in the dough.

  7. Turn the dough out onto a sheet or plastic wrap. Wrap tightly into a log about 1 ½ inches thick. Chill until firm, about 20 minutes.

  8. When ready to bake, remove the dough from the refrigerator and slice dough ¼-inch thick. Place each cookie onto the prepared trays, leaving about 2 inches space between each.

  9. Place the cookies in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden. Be careful not to overbake them.

  10. Once baked, remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Then, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.