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Front view of shortbread slice that is baked and showing the cranberries, orange and pecans.
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4.62 from 18 votes

Fresh Cranberry Orange Pecan Shortbread Cookies

These are small cookies just a perfect bite of flavor. You can also sprinkle a little powdered sugar on the tops for added sweetness.
Prep Time15 minutes
Total Bake Time12 minutes
Chill1 hour
Total Time1 hour 27 minutes
Course: Cookies, Holiday, No-Eggs, Nuts
Cuisine: American
Difficulty: Medium
Servings: 30 cookies
Calories: 109kcal


  • 1 cup Butter unsalted room temperature
  • cups Powdered sugar
  • 3 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tablespoon Orange zest
  • ½ cup Cranberries fresh
  • ½ cup Pecans chopped
  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon Baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt


  • In a food processor, pulse whole fresh cranberries until they are in pieces and add to a small bowl. Then chop pecans with a knife until they are small pieces but not dust, you want small pieces. Then add pecans to a small bowl. It gives the cookies a little texture and will incorporate well throughout the whole cookie dough. Set both bowls aside. Next, zest the oranges into a small bowl. Set the bowl aside.
  • Weigh or measure your powdered sugar into a bowl. In a separate bowl weigh or measure flour, baking powder, and salt together. I run a whisk through to blend them.
  • In a stand mixer or handheld, add the butter and mix on medium speed to "cream" the butter. I scraped down the sides to make sure all the butter was creamed. Turn the mixer speed down and slowly add the powdered sugar until it is all incorporated. Turn the mixer to medium speed and mix for 2 to 3 minutes. Next, add the vanilla extract and orange zest and turn the mixer back to medium speed. I had to stop and scrape down the bowl and across the bottom to ensure it was all mixed.
  • Turn the mixer speed down and slowly add the flour mixture until the flour is incorporated. The dough will be a little stiff. Turn the mixer off, add the cranberries and pecans and turn the mixer on for about 15 seconds. You may need to mix with a spatula to ensure the cranberries and pecans go through the whole mixture.
  • Take the dough out of the bowl and place it on a silicone pastry mat that has been dusted with powdered sugar. Divide the dough in half and roll to make 2 log shapes, about 12 inches each. It should have a diameter of approximately 1-½ to 2 inches. Take plastic wrap and wrap it around each cookie dough log.
  • I found a trick to take a paper towel center cardboard tube and split it in half length-wise. It makes a perfect cradle for the logs. Then, adding the dough logs to the cradles, I put them on a small sheet pan and into the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Take one log out of the refrigerator and unwrap the plastic wrap. Slice the log into ½-inch slices and put them onto a parchment-lined cookie pan. I put the whole sliced log onto the sheet pan. They only need about an inch between each disc of the cookie—Bake for 12 to 13 minutes. After pulling the pan from the oven, I leave the cookies on the pan for about a minute or two. Then move the cookies to a cooling rack.


Calories: 109kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 24mg | Potassium: 20mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 193IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.4mg