Pistachios and dried cranberries are an irresistible salty-sweet combination in these easy slice-and-bake shortbread, one of our favorite Christmas cookies. Pistachio Cranberry Cookies are a lovely hostess or holiday gift, and a log of frozen dough, wrapped and packaged with baking instructions, is an even better present. We recommend using unsalted, natural pistachios, available in the bulk aisle of many grocery stores. Want more recipes like this? Sign up for Grand Central eNews and get recipes in your in box every month!
Makes about 4 dozen cookies
2 1/3 cups (11.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces, or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (4.75 ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (4 ounces) pistachios, lightly toasted
1 ¼ cups (6.5 ounces) dried cranberries
Measure flour and salt into a bowl and whisk to combine.
Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until very smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla, then reduce the mixer speed to low.
Add the dry ingredients and mix just until they disappear into the dough. Fold in the pistachios and cranberries with a sturdy spatula. Make sure the pistachios and cranberries are well distributed; this will make it easier to form and slice the log.
On 2 12- to 14-inch lengths of parchment, wax paper or plastic wrap, shape the dough into 2 logs 2 inches in diameter, wrap up each log and twist packaging ends to seal, then chill for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days (or freeze for up the 3 months).
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a sharp knife and a sawing motion, slice the cookies ¼ to ½ inch thick and place them about 1 inch apart, in 3-by-4 rows, on the prepared pans. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time. The cookies are ready when they begin to brown around the edges.