Cranberry Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Cranberry Pecan Shortbread Cookies

These Cranberry Pecan Shortbread Cookies are rich, crumbly, buttery, and moderately sweet. And with the addition of vanilla, crunchy nuts, and sweet and tart cranberries, these cookies are irresistible Christmas treats. Your family, friends, colleagues, and Santa will approve!

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Cranberry Pecan Shortbread Cookies

This post originally appeared in December 2016. I have taken and updated the photos and slightly tweaked the recipe while the blog post and remains the same. I have also included a simplified method that does not require the use of mixer or chilling the dough.

Important Question

How are you doing my friends? Have you sent your edible gifts to me? Just for the record, I haven’t received that delicious cake and a few pounds of cookies you sent. Could you repeat them, please?

Also, aren’t you fed up with all those cookies I’ve been posting on my blog? Oh really? I really am sorry. That’s because (And only because) of Santa. I’ve been trying to please that guy. You should try, too.

I’m not going to make you read too many words today, but I’ve got one question.

Do you have your favorite recipes which have been your family classic for years? What is that? Appetizers? Fancy cocktails? Cake? Something lavender? Or maybe cookies?

Cranberry Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Honestly, I’m that guy who doesn’t like to make one recipe over and over again. It’s kind of boring.

These Cranberry Pecan Shortbread Cookies are my exception, though. I made them on our first Christmas in Canada (in 2012), and I have been baking them every year since that. Normally I make them more than once.

Don’t judge me, though. The combo of butter, sugar, vanilla, pecans, and cranberries is just irresistible. And addicting. You can also use pistachios, almonds, or walnuts in place of pecans.

This season I’ve already made these Cranberry Pecan Shortbread Cookies tree times, and I’m not sure I should stop.

More Holiday Christmas Recipes

Looking for more holiday cookie recipes? I have some!

Orange Clove Cookies

Cranberry Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

Candy Cane Cookies

Orange Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

Gingersnap Cookies

I hope you like this Cranberry Pecan Shortbread Cookies, and you will give it a try. If you make it, let me know in this post or send me an Instagram message or share you photos adding the hashtag #havocinthekitchen.


Cranberry Pecan Shortbread Cookies
Cranberry Pecan Shortbread Cookies
Photo from 2019

Cranberry Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Recipe by Ben | HavocinthekitchenCourse: Dessert


Prep time


Cooking time


Chilling time



These Cranberry Pecan Shortbread Cookies are rich, crumbly, buttery, and moderately sweet. And with the addition of vanilla, crunchy nuts and sweet and tart cranberries, these cookies are irresistible Christmas treats. Makes ~30-35 small-medium cookies.


  • 170 gr. (3/4 cup) butter, soften

  • 170 gr. (1 cup) all-purpose flour

  • 30 gr. (3 tbsp.) corn starch

  • 2 tbsp. light-brown / golden sugar

  • 1 tbsp. icing sugar

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, seeds (or both)

  • 150 gr. (~1 cup) pecan halves, roughly chopped

  • 100 gr. (~1 cup) dried cranberries, roughly chopped


  • First Method (Requires Mixer and Chilling):
  • For this method, you will need softened butter; just remove it from the fridge 1-2 hours prior baking. In a bowl, with a mixer cream the butter, sugars, vanilla, and salt on medium speed, about 2 minutes.
  • Gradually stir in the flour and mix until the mixture starts to remain dough.
  • Stir in the cranberries and pecans; do not overmix. Wrap up in plastic and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes. After chilling the dough should be pliable, moist, and slightly crumbly (yet easily coming together). You may need to dust it with some flour when rolling. If the dough is too firm and crumbly after chilling, let it stay 5-10 minutes at room temp.
  • Roll the dough out with a rolling-pin (if the dough feels too moist . Cut cookies using cookie cutters.
  • Preheat oven to 175 degrees C (350 F). Place the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheets.
  • Bake for about 10-14 minutes (depending on size and your preference) or until edges are slightly golden. If you prefer delicate, moist, and soft cookies, bake them less, depending on their size, thickness, and your oven. If you prefer them crisp and more browned, bake them for extra 2-3 minutes or so. Either way, they will be delicious! Enjoy!
  • Second Method (No Mixer and Chilling Required):
  • Cut the butter into few large pieces, place in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat for about 25-40 seconds or until very soft (partly melted); or melt a small saucepan over stovetop heat.
  • Combine the soften/melted butter with sugar, sugar, icing sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat with a wooden spoon for 30 seconds until well-incorporated.
  • Stir in the flour and starch and mix until remains dough; don’t overmix. Add the pecans and cranberries.
  • If the dough feels too sticky, dust with a little of flour. If it feels to crumbly / dry (that happens as density of ingredients could wary), you can fix it by stirring in a little more of melted butter or a splash of milk.
  • You do not need to refrigerate the dough, but if you have time, giving it 5-10 minutes of resting will improve the texture even more. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (~175 degrees C). Repeat steps 4 to 6 from the 1st method. Enjoy!

6 thoughts on “Cranberry Pecan Shortbread Cookies

  1. says:

    After our cheeseboard on Christmas Day (as I mentioned in my previous comment on your Smoked Cheddar Pistachio Cranberry Biscuits) we enjoy something sweet. Normally some shortbread. These cranberry pecan cookies are a twist on a traditional shortbread. I love them!

  2. Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says:

    LOL! You could NEVER post too many cookies, Ben! There is no such thing as TOO MANY cookies! And forget the fat guy named Santa. I’ve been eating all the cookies myself. I don’t share. ;) These look fabulous, buddy! LOVE the tart cranberries and crunchy pecans in this buttery cookie! Be sure to send me a few dozen of these!! We have a few traditions, but my favorite is the monkey bread and mimosas while opening presents on Christmas morning. I hope you and your family have a FABULOUS holiday!! Cheers!
    Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary recently posted…Baked Camembert with Cranberry & Orange CompoteMy Profile

  3. David @ Spiced says:

    These cookies sound amazing, Ben! There is a company here in the States that makes a cranberry crispy cracker/cookie…and these totally remind me of that one. My Mom always sends me a package, but now I’ll just make my own. Actually, I’ll do even better. I’ll just have you send me a care package. You’ll do that right? Because we’re friends! :-)
    David @ Spiced recently posted…Classic Peanut Butter CookiesMy Profile

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