White Chocolate & Cranberry Shortbread


I don’t typically buy many packaged desserts since I think homemade is usually better. How many times have you been disappointed with a mediocre sheet cake from the grocery store or a stale cookie from the bakery section? That’s not to say we don’t all have bad days in the kitchen (I make plenty of subpar and disastrous dishes) but more often than not I’m pleased with my cooking and baking skills.

The one time of year I go a bit crazy buying pre-made cookies is during Girl Scout Cookie Season (which, as of the day of writing, is only 50 days away!). I like almost all of the cookies but the shortbread is without a doubt my favorite and I buy way too many boxes and eat them way too quickly.

Oddly enough I typically forget about shortbread the rest of the year. And I don’t know why. Shortbread, in it’s most basic form, is butter, flour, sugar, salt, and vanilla. How simple? While even the most simple shortbread is mouthwateringly delicious, the possibilities are really endless. You can dip them in chocolate, cover them with frosting, or mix in any variety of additional flavorings and ingredients. I love tea shortbread (mixing in ground tea leaves into the batter) and stirring in finely chopped pecans is also phenomenal.

With the holidays coming up I thought mixing in white chocolate chips and dried cranberries would be festive and I have to say my hunch had good results. Their appearance was not only Christmasy, but the chewiness of the cranberries, creaminess of the chocolate, and buttery yet crunchy crumb of the shortbread really made for a trifecta of awesomeness.

White Chocolate & Cranberry Shortbread

Basic shortbread recipe from Claire Robinson 

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy (approximately 5 minutes). Gradually add in flour, salt, and vanilla, and mix until combined. Stir in cranberries and white chocolate.
Place dough on a sheet of plastic wrap, and roll into a log, about 2 1/2-inches in diameter. Tightly twist each end of wrap, and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Slice the log into 1/3-inch thick disks (since there are some chunky ingredients the slices may not look perfectly smooth, but they even out once baked). Place on parchment or silpat lined baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake until the edges are just brown, about 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks and cool to room temperature. Once baked these stay fresh and delicious for several days, although I doubt they’ll last that long.



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  1. Holiday Shortbread Cookies | - December 23, 2013

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