White Chocolate Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

by Erin

Tender, buttery shortbread are packed with creamy white chocolate and tangy fresh cranberries for the perfect festive shortbread for your cookie tray this holiday.

Cranberry Shortbread Cookies dipped in white chocolate

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Want to know what is my favorite shortbread cookie ever? I first shared this as a post on Culinary.net, but now 8 years later I have discovered the post link is no longer active so it’s time to share it here for good!

The first time I made these, I sent them to Steph’s Bite by Bite for November’s Bakin’ Friends, a foodie pen pal group of sorts where we mailed home baked treats to a different person each month. It eventually dissolved due to shipping prices but it was fun while it lasted!

White Chocolate Cranberry Shortbread Cookies #whitechocolate #shortbread #cranberry

This time, I made them for a holiday cookie exchange with my in person cookbook club! Except in 2020 we took a pause due to COVID. But we did a couple social distanced food exchanges of individually wrapped items including favorite granola, homemade snacks, and now holiday cookies!

I had a difficult time narrowing down which I wanted to make. Given the nature of the group I probably should have picked a recipe from a cookbook, but then these crept into my mind and I couldn’t get rid of the idea of making them again.

White Chocolate Cranberry Shortbread Cookies on a plate with milk

I love that these cookies use fresh cranberries, a very important distinction if you are making them because the moisture from the fresh cranberries is key to form the dough. Other than also having white chocolate, they are a very simple shortbread consisting of flour, sugar, and of course butter.

This recipe also makes about 5 dozen, making it perfect for holiday cookie exchanges. Need more large batch cookie recipes? Check these out:

Post updated 12/15/20, photo above is the original.

One year ago: Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Two years ago: Homemade Applesauce

Cranberry Shortbread Cookies dipped in white chocolate


Yield: 5 dozen Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat


  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries, finely chopped
  • 12 ounces white chocolate baking squares with cocoa butter, finely chopped, divided
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 drops red food coloring
  • 2 tsp shortening
  • Red sanding sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line baking two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and sugar. Add the butter cubes and toss to coat in the flour mixture. Using a hand mixer, blend on medium-low speed until it resembles coarse cornmeal.
  3. Stir in chopped cranberries, 4 ounces of the chopped white chocolate, almond extract, and food coloring, then knead until it sticks together.
  4. Shape dough into a 1-inch ball (I used a small cookie scoop) and place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Flatten with your hand or the bottom of a glass into a 1-1/2-inch round.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until centers are set. Cool 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack covered in wax paper to cool completely.
  6. Meanwhile, in a double boiler over low heat, combine remaining 8 ounces white chocolate and the shortening. Cook and stir until melted then remove from heat. Dip half of each cookie into chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. Roll dipped edge in red sanding sugar. Place cookies back on waxed paper until chocolate is set.
Did You Make This Recipe?
I want to see! Tag me on Instagram at @TheSpiffyCookie and hashtag it #TheSpiffyCookie.

Source: Adapted from Better Home and Gardens.

Did you make this recipe? I want to see!
Tag @THESPIFFYCOOKIE on Instagram and hashtag it #THESPIFFYCOOKIE

White Chocolate Cranberry Shortbread Cookies #cookieexchange #holidaybaking

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Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen December 4, 2012 - 1:52 pm

Holy yes! I want a mouth full of those!

vanillasugarblog December 3, 2012 - 10:21 am

oh my goodness these sound so good!
heavens to betsey!

Lynna December 3, 2012 - 12:53 am

These are great for the holidays and they look so pretty!

Chandra@The Plaid and Paisley Kitchen December 2, 2012 - 6:32 pm

Oh these look soo good! I love Cranberry anything! This time of year is so much fun!


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