Cranberry Noel Cookies


Sweet little shortbread cookies with a touch of tart cranberry and nutty pecans.

Cranberry Noel Cookies

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 40 mins

Cranberry Noel Cookies are similar to a simple shortbread, with a light, buttery texture. The edges are crunchy, with a soft middle, and they're tender—perfect for soaking up tea or coffee.

These buttery cookies have pops of great texture and flavor from the cranberries and pecans, paired with a nice vanilla flavor. They’re beautifully balanced without being too sweet, but you can add a bit more sweetness with the optional coconut.

A beautiful spin on a slice-and-bake shortbread cookies, they’re quite simple to make. These cookies would be a great recipe to utilize for a holiday party, or even for cookie gifting at Christmas time, when you need something you can make ahead and store until time to eat. The light color of the buttery cookie with pops of red from the cranberries is stunning for the holiday season, too.

The key to keeping these cookies together is to chill the dough long enough. Chilling the dough less than two hours will result in the dough falling apart when sliced.

These cookies are great on their own, or delicious paired with a warm mug of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Store leftovers in an airtight container.


  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

  • 2 Tbsp. milk

  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped

  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped

  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract.

  2. Gradually mix the flour and salt into the butter mixture until a soft dough forms. Fold in the dried cranberries and pecans.

  3. Transfer the dough onto a countertop sprinkled with flour. Divide the dough in two. Roll each section of dough into a smooth log, about 2-inches in diameter. Roll in shredded coconut, if using. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and chill the dough for two hours.

  4. Preheat the oven to 375°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the fridge, and take off the plastic wrap. Use a sharp knife to slice the logs into ¼-inch slices, and place each slice on the prepared baking sheet.

  5. Bake the cookies for 14 minutes until the edges are lightly golden brown. Remove the cookies from the oven, and let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to finish cooling.

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