Cranberry Shortbread

Getting into the last week before Christmas, the excitement builds and the rush heightens. I can’t help but get those butterflies like I had when I was a kid. A staple at our Christmas sweets table, this version of shortbread is certainly a family tradition just as Santa and snowflakes. Soft and tender, they simply melt in your mouth. Wonderful all alone, but for the Hoildays the addition of toffee or dried cranberries is an extra special treat.

I had originally made give aways of this cookie mix for the Holidays, just needing to add the margarine but the simple layer of sugared cranberries seemed lost in the sifted white ingredients, so I opted to just spare recipients the time of baking and bring them the finished products instead, minus the ones I had to test for doneness, of course.


1/4 Cup Corn Starch
1/4 Cup Confectionery Sugar,
1 Cup Unbleached, All Purpose Flour
3/4 Cup Margarine
1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries
2 Tablespoons Sanding or Damara Sugar

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Sift flour, corn starch and confectionery sugar into a large bowl.
Measure and chop the cranberries with one tablespoon of the sanding sugar. (This helps keep them from sticking to everything and to candy them while they bake.)
Add the margarine and cranberries.
Stir the mixture, using a wooden spoon, just until everything begins to come together in a soft dough.
Roll the dough with your hands into small balls.
Flatten the cookies with your palm or the bottom of a lightly flour dusted glass.
Top with a sprinkling of the remaining sanding sugar.
Bake for approximately 10 – 12 minutes, watching carefully towards the end. The cookies should be removed just as the edges begin to turn a light golden.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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I'm a chef, food stylist, cancer survivor, recipe developer, art director and photographer. My obsession for food, how it looks and makes me healthier has driven my passion for chronicling my journey through photos. Find more about me on: or my portfolio at:

4 thoughts on “Cranberry Shortbread”

  1. I’m feeling the same anxiousness and excitement, as Christmas is just around the corner – how do I deal with the anticipation? I bake! :0) those cranberry shortbread cookies are divine!

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