Tested Baking & Dessert Recipes & Videos

breakfast & brunch bars & squares cupcake recipes shortbread recipes comfort foods youtube channel
about us
substitutions
ingredients
glossary
conversions
weight vs volume
chocolate recipes
apple recipes
pumpkin recipes
cranberry recipes
biscotti recipes
candy recipes
healthy baking
pudding recipes
quick breads
english tea party
blueberry recipes
lemon recipes
strawberry recipes
trifle recipes
ice cream recipes
halloween baking
valentine's baking
easter baking
thanksgiving baking
christmas cookies
christmas baking
christmas candy
baking history
bibliography

 

Join Our New  Recipes & Videos Email List

Cranberry Pistachio Shortbreads Tested Recipe

Printer Friendly Page

Cranberry Pistachio Shortbreads Recipe

I don't know who first thought of adding dried red cranberries and green pistachio nuts to a cookie dough but it was a brilliant idea. It makes us all look so clever during the Christmas season, serving a plate of red and green flecked shortbread cookies to match all our red and green decorations. As you may know, shortbreads are the quintessential Christmas cookie, starting out in Scotland as a Christmas and New Year's Eve (Hogmanay) treat. The Scots really got this cookie right, and we are only going to enhance it here with these buttery Cranberry Pistachio Shortbreads by adding dried cranberries and crunchy pistachios. While I like to place them in pretty containers to give as gifts, I always put a few aside to nibble on with my afternoon cup of tea.  

It is no surprise that shortbreads moved from being simply a Christmas cookie to a year round favorite. With their buttery flavor and crumbly texture, this cookie (biscuit) is hard to beat. All shortbreads, including these Cranberry Pistachio Shortbreads, have three main ingredients, butter, sugar, and flour. So, of course, with such few ingredients, we must try to use the best we can afford. First, a really great tasting shortbread needs a great tasting unsalted butter. Butter in the States is graded according to flavor, color, texture, aroma and body and one way to tell the quality of the butter is by the letter code or numerical number listed on the butter's package. The highest grade is AA (93 score), then A (92 score), followed by B (90 score). I prefer unsalted butter as the salt in salted butter can overpower its sweet flavor and can also mask any odors the butter may have absorbed. Also, the amount of salt added to salted butter can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer so it is hard to know how much salt to add to your recipe. Another important ingredient in shortbreads is vanilla extract so use a good quality "pure" vanilla extract. Stay away from the ones labeled "imitation" vanilla extracts as they are made with synthetic vanilla (from glycoside found in the sapwood of certain conifers or from coal extracts) and leave a bitter aftertaste. As the name 'Cranberry Pistachio' Shortbreads implies, we are also adding dried cranberries and pistachio nuts to the shortbread batter. Dried cranberries are soft and chewy with a sweet tart flavor and they can be found in most grocery stores as well as health food stores. The pistachios I use are unsalted natural pistachios, not the ones that have been dyed red. If you cannot find unsalted then rub salted pistachios in a clean dry dish towel to get as much salt off the pistachios as you can. I like to roughly chop both the dried cranberries and the pistachios so you get small chunks, not large pieces, in each cookie.

The making of these Cranberry Pistachio Shortbreads involves dividing the dough in half and then forming each half into a log shape (same method used with refrigerator or icebox cookies). The logs are then chilled (up to two weeks) or, for longer storage, frozen (up to two months). Once thoroughly chilled, slice off as many, or as few, cookies as needed. Essentially, they are fresh cookies on demand.

 

Cranberry Pistachio Shortbreads: In a large bowl whisk the flour with the salt. 

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth (about 1 - 2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until smooth and creamy (about 3 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Fold in the chopped pistachios and dried cranberries. (Make sure that the nuts and cranberries are evenly distributed throughout the dough.)

Divide the dough in half. Place each half of dough on the center of a 14 inch (35 cm) length of parchment or wax paper. Smooth and shape the dough into an evenly shaped rectangle that is about 10 inches (25 cm) long and 2 inches (5 cm) wide. Then thoroughly wrap the shaped logs in the parchment or wax paper, twists the ends of the paper to seal the logs, and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours, or up to three days. (The logs can also be frozen for about two months. If freezing, it is best to defrost the logs in the refrigerator overnight before slicing and baking.)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) with the rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using a thin bladed knife, slice the logs into 1/4 to 1/2 inch (.5 to 1 cm) thick cookies. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes, or until the cookies are just beginning to brown around the edges. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Makes about 48 shortbread cookies.

Adapted From:

Davis, Piper & Jackson, Ellen. The Grand Central Baking Book. Ten Speed Press. Berkeley: 2009.

Cranberry Pistachio Shortbreads:

2 1/3 cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup (2 sticks) (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup (130 grams) unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped

1 cup (150 grams) dried cranberries, coarsely chopped

 

 
 
     
 

 

New Videos

   
 

     

Top 40 Video Recipes of 2013

1. Red Velvet Cake

2. Red Velvet Cupcakes

3. Vanilla Cake

4. Cake Pops

5. Vanilla Cupcakes

6. Peanut Butter Balls

7. New York Cheesecake

8. American Sponge Cake

9. Brownies

10.Banana Chocolate Cupcakes

11.Royal Icing

12. Shortbread Cookies

13. Pound Cake 14. Chocolate Cupcakes 15. French Macarons
16. Cinnamon Rolls 17. Carrot Cake 18. Chocolate Chip Cookies 19. Pancakes 20. Oatmeal Cookies
21. Orange Chiffon Cake 22. Whipped Cream Frosting 23. Biscuits 24. Apple Pie 25. M&M Cookies
26. Fruit Tart 27. Cake Doughnuts 28. Sugar Cookies 29. Cream Puffs 30. Homemade Doughnuts 
31. Chocolate Cake 32. Pavlova 33. No Bake Cheesecake 34. Molten Chocolate Cakes 35. Meringue Cookies
36. Chocolate Chiffon Cake 37. Chocolate Banana Cake 38. Lemon Curd 39. Cheesecakes (Individual) 40. Ganache
   
 
   
 

Contact Us   Privacy Policy Joyofbaking On Twitter Stephanie Jaworski+Find us on Google+

Use of materials on all pages on the domains Joyofbaking.com, joyofbaking.mobi, the Joyofbaking.com Facebook Page, @joyofbaking on Twitter, the Joyofbaking.com RSS Feed, the Joyofbaking.com email list the Joyofbaking1 YouTube Channel and any emails sent from @joyofbaking.com are entirely at the risk of the user and their owner, iFood Media LLC will not be responsible for any damages directly or indirectly resulting from the use.

References cited may include a link to purchase the referenced book on Amazon.com. Joyofbaking.com receives a commission on any purchases resulting from these links.

This website and the contents are not endorsed or sponsored by the owner of the "Joy of Cooking" series of books or its publisher Simon & Schuster, Inc. Video icons by Asher.

Content in any form may not be copied or used without written permission of Stephanie Jaworski, Joyofbaking.com.  Students and non profit educators may use content without permission with proper credit. 

A baking resource on the Internet since 1997

Copyright  1997 to 2014 iFood Media LLC