These are rich, buttery and crunchy shortbread cookies which have been embedded with loads of pistachio nuts and dried cranberries. Aside from their lovely appearance, the taste is simply out of this world. As with most shortbread recipes, these cookies have very few ingredients. Ensure that you use high quality ingredients in order to get the very best taste and appearance. This is an adaptation of a recipe by Stephanie Jaworski with my own methods of rolling, shaping and baking.
The Recipe below makes about 24 cookies. It can be halved to make fewer cookies.
(1) 300 Grams All Purpose Flour (2-1/3 Cups)
(2) 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
(3) 226 Grams Unsalted Butter (1 Cup) (See Note 1)
(4) 135 Grams Granulated White Sugar (2/3 Cup)
(5) 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
(6) 1 Cup Pistachios (Chopped)
(7) 1 Cup Dried Cranberries
(1) You can use salted butter in place of unsalted butter. If you are using salted butter, leave out the salt in the recipe.
(1) Mix the flour with the salt in a large bowl.
(2) In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
(3) Add the vanilla extract and beat to incorporate. Remember to use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl at intervals.
(4) Next, add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. Do not over mix.
(5) Finally and the chopped pistachios and cranberries and fold in.
Rolling and Chilling:
(6) Divide the dough into two.
(7) Place one half of the cookie dough on a sheet of parchment paper and compact it into a flat disk.
(7) Place another sheet of parchment paper on top of the dough and roll it out with a rolling pin. Roll it to about 1/4 of an inch thick. Repeat the same process for the remaining cookie dough.
Note: The reason for the parchment paper is so the dough does not stick on the rolling pin. It makes rolling out and transferring easy.
(8) Transfer the covered dough to trays and place them in the fridge to chill for at least 3 hours or until the dough has firmed up. This can be done up to a couple of days in advance.
Note: See Baking Solution 102 for the importance of chilling cooking dough before baking.
Cutting and Baking:
(9) Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
(10) Line two trays with parchment paper.
(11) Working with one dough sheet at a time, cut out shapes using a cookie cutter. Try to get as many cookies as you can from each sheet. The more you handle the dough, the tougher the cookies will become.
(12) Line the cookies on your prepared baking tray spacing them about 1.5 inches apart.
(13) Gather any leftover dough, form them into a disk, roll out and shape as before. If the dough gets too soft, chill it before cutting out. If your cut out cookies have been out for too long before baking, return them to the fridge for abut 15 minutes or the freezer for about 5 minutes before baking. If your dough is soft before baking, the cookies will spread and lose their shape during baking.
(14) Bake the cookies in a preheated oven for about 15 – 20 minutes or until the cookies start to brown around the edges.
(15) The cookies will still be soft when they come out of the oven. Allow them to cool completely in the baking tray on a cooling rack before handling or transferring them.
Shortbread Pie Crust. Recipe here.