There’s something about shortbread, citrus, and cranberries that just feels festive. Add white chocolate into the mix and you have your next go-to for a cookie exchange! These shortbread cookies are small, can be prepped and made in advance, and are versatile for switching up ingredients! Not a fan of citrus? Skip the adding orange zest. Prefer nuts to dried berries? Sub chopped almonds for cranberries. Fan of dark chocolate? Pass on the white and go for 70%!
What I love about slice-and-bake cookies is how tidy and fast they are to prep and bake! If you’re a fan of these cookies, make two batches and toss a few in the freezer for the next time you need some fresh sweets on short notice! I’d recommend putting the frozen dough logs in the fridge overnight before baking, or, if possible, warm them up a bit by leaving them out at room temperature for up to an hour before baking.
Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies with White Chocolate Drizzle
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Yield: About 50 cookies
This is an excellent make-ahead recipe! Don’t forget that the dough needs time to chill before baking and can be stored in plastic wrap in the fridge for up to 3 days. Deb from SK says you can store in the freezer for up to 1 month, but I have tested this (yet)!
- 1 cup (or 2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
- ⅔ cup confectioners’ sugar
- Grated zest of 2 oranges
- 2 large egg yolks at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp of salt
- ½ cup chopped dried cranberries
- 2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream the butter until light in colour, 1-2 minutes.
- Add the confectioners’ sugar to the butter and mix, starting on low and working your way up to medium, until well-combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
- Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition, until well combined.
- Mix in the vanilla extract and salt until combined.
- Add the flour and mix on low until just combined.
- Divide the dough into two equal parts (the shape doesn’t matter at this point), wrap each in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- Remove dough from fridge and work into two logs, roughly 1 ¼” in diameter. They will likely end up being around 12 to 14” long, but don’t worry if they’re longer or shorter than this.
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap (I recommend re-using what you can from step 6) and chill for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Using a sharp, thin knife, slice each log into ¼” to ⅓” slices and arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. They won’t spread out too much if you’ve chilled them long enough, so leave roughly ½” space between each cookie. You will likely have multiple batches to bake.
- Bake for 12 to 14 minutes (mine took about 13). Cookies are done when they’ve set and are just starting to turn a very light golden colour (see top photo for doneness reference).
- Transfer baked cookies to cooling rack until fully cooled.
- Bring 1” to 2” of water in a saucepan to a gentle boil.
- Place a heatproof bowl or double-boiler on the saucepan. Make sure the bowl is not in contact with the water.
- Add the white chocolate and gradually stir with a heatproof spatula until evenly melted.
- Using the back of a spoon, the spatula, or your preferred tool, drizzle chocolate on cooled cookies. What worked best for me was arranging the cookies very close together on a pan lined with parchment, coating a spoon with white chocolate, waving the coated spoon back and forth over the cookies, re-coating, and repeating.
- Allow chocolate to set before serving or storing cookies. To speed this process up, you can pop the cookies into the fridge for 10-15 minutes.
- Eat the cookies, share the cookies, save the cookies for later!