Cranberry Walnut Shortbread Cookies

Cranberry Walnut Shortbread Cookies

Don't you love cookies over the holidays? I do, and even though I'm not big on baking, I still have some go to cookies for this season. For a lot of us, shortbread cookies are a must over the holidays. Shortbread is the official cookie of the holidays, is it not? The holidays are all about decadence and feasting. And, it's amazing how the simplicity of butter, sugar, and flour can become the melt in your mouth true decadence of a shortbread cookie.

Cranberry Walnut Shortbread Cookies
Cranberry Walnut Shortbread Cookies

Fun fact: This cookie has staying power. Shortbread originated in Scotland, possibly as long ago as the 12th century. In the 16th century, Mary, Queen of Scots was said to be very fond of them. This is according to Bon Appétit in this fun article: Is Homemade Shortbread Worth the Effort? And, yes, yes it is.

These Cranberry Walnut Shortbread Cookies are made with a classic brown sugar shortbread. But then, you add tart cranberries and the crunch of  toasted walnuts to perfectly balance out the rich, buttery sweetness of these cookies. These cookies are festive, and deliciously decadent, since that's what we're going for here. It's the holidays, right?

Cheerful, bright red cranberries add a festive appearance, and a delicious tartness to these buttery little gems, as an added bonus. You could substitute dried cranberries, but I love the “freshness” of fresh ones. Especially at this time of year, when we (at least here in Canada), don't have a lot of freshness to choose from. Cranberries, although harvested in the fall, keep for a long time. And we get to use fresh ones during the winter.

Walnuts add a little bite a of bitter hint to all the sweet richness of this buttery shortbread, which, I love. Those walnuts are local, too, frozen for the winter, but perfect for so many recipes. We are so fortunate to be able to get them, grown right here.

This shortbread dough is really easy. And you can keep the dough in the fridge or freezer to bake later on.  I don't do cookies often, (because if I do, I'll eat them).  But if you are on a baking spree, try our these really scrumptious Salted Caramel Shortbread Thumbprints. And for another holiday sweet treat, check out Chocolate Toffee Fudge.

Cranberry Walnut Shortbread Cookies
Cranberry Walnut Shortbread Cookies

How to Make Cranberry Walnut Shortbread Cookies

Cranberry Walnut Shortbread Cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 60 cookies

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Calories per serving: 48

Fat per serving: 3.1g

Cranberry Walnut Shortbread Cookies

Cookies will keep, stored in an airtight container for up to a week.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted


  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
  3. Using a mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Add flour and salt and beat until a soft dough forms.
  5. Stir in cranberries and walnuts.
  6. Divide dough in half and roll into balls.
  7. At this point, you can wrap the balls in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to a week, or freezer for up to a month.
  8. Between two sheets of parchment paper, roll out dough, one ball at a time, to 1/4 inch thick.
  9. Using a cookie cutter, cut into rounds and transfer to parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in center of oven for 10 minutes, or until edges turn golden.
  10. Remove from oven, transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.


Cranberry Walnut Shortbread Cookies
Cranberry Walnut Shortbread Cookies

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18 thoughts on “Cranberry Walnut Shortbread Cookies

  1. What a great way to spice up shortbread cookies! I love a little bit of tartness mixed with something sweet.

  2. Shortbread cookies are always so yummy and I love the many different ways they can be changed up. Your cranberry
    walnut version sounds delicious.

  3. Nice recipe. I have never tried making shortbread before, will definitely try it this time. I bet my little nephews and nieces will love it!

  4. I love shortbread cookies,I guess I am the sole fan of these cookies in my household 🤣 lovely recipe of adding walnuts.

  5. These shortbread cookies are so festive! My mom just loves these cookies and can never eat enough of them. These will not last long in our house.

  6. I have never used fresh cranberries in baking because I would be afraid of them being too tart but these look fabulous

  7. How beautiful are these? And delicious I am sure! Perfect to add to Santa’s plate this Sunday night.

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