I love making shortbread cookies because they are so easy to make and a huge crowd pleaser. I recently made this recipe for a potluck event, but I’ve also used them as tasty gifts for birthdays and Christmas. Depending on the event or the giftee, try swapping out the filling. I’ve used the shortbread base to make mint chocolate chip, white chocolate macadamia, and butter pecan. The possibilities are endless…

A Note About the Recipe: To enhance the almond flavor, you can replace the vanilla extract with an equal amount of vanilla extract. If using different fillings, try different extracts. For example, I like to use coconut extract when making white chocolate macadamia shortbread.

Cranberry, Orange & Almond Shortbread Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Category: Baking, Sweet

Servings: 3 dozen cookies

Easy to make and always a crowd pleaser, these shortbread cookies are delicious and versatile -- have fun with different flavor combinations!


  • 1cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
  • 2/3 cup raw slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped


  • Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet by spraying with butter spray or lining with parchment paper.
  • Place butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and salt a large bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Beat on high until completely combined (about 3 minutes).
  • With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour and orange zest. Mix until a dough forms (should be fairly thick).
  • By hand, fold in almonds and cranberries using a wooden spoon or spatula.
  • Form the dough into a ball then roll into a log shape (about 2-inches in diameter).
  • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and freeze until firm (about 1 hour).
  • Remove the dough from the freezer and slice into 1/4-inch thick slices.
  • Place slices on prepared cookie sheet at least 1-inch apart.
  • Bake at 325 for about 15 minutes or until edges are golden.
  • Let cool for before removing from cookie sheet.


*To enhance the almond flavor, you can use almond extract in place of vanilla.


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