Here’s part 2 of my Christmas Cookies series, make sure you read part 1 (Dark Chocolate-Dipped Orange Sables) from yesterday. I make both cookies every year and can’t decide which one I love more! White Chocolate Pistachio Cranberry Shortbread is so amazingly decadent and festive! Not only does it look like a Christmas cookie (red & green speckled throughout), it TASTES like Christmas! The salt of the pistachio, the tartness of cranberry and the delicious white chocolate… it’s just perfect!
Christmas is around the corner and I’ve already made one big batch of these cookies, it probably won’t be the only one!
Pistachio-Cranberry Shortbread Cookies
Makes about 50 cookies
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, preferably sea salt
- 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup chopped pistachios
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
- 2 cups melted white chocolate chips, for dipping
- Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the 1c butter at medium speed until it is smooth and very creamy.
- Add the 3/4c sugar and 1/2t salt and continue to beat until smooth and velvety, not fluffy and airy, about 1 minute.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the 2 egg yolks and 1/2t vanilla extract, again beating until well blended.
- Turn off the mixer, pour in the 2c flour, drape a moist kitchen towel over the mixer and pulse the mixer about 5 times at low speed for 1 or 2 seconds each time. Take a peek; if there is still a lot of flour on the surface of the dough, pulse a couple of more times; if not, remove the towel. Continuing at low speed, stir for about 30 seconds more, just until the flour disappears into the dough and the dough looks uniformly moist. If you still have some flour on the bottom of the bowl, stop mixing and use a rubber spatula to work the rest of it into the dough. (The dough will not come together in a ball — and it shouldn’t. You want to work the dough as little as possible. What you’re aiming for is a soft, moist, clumpy dough. When pinched, it should feel a little like Play-Doh.)
- Stir in the 3/4c chopped or crushed pistachios and 1/2c chopped dried cranberries.
- Scrape the dough onto a work surface, gather it into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each piece into a smooth log about 9 inches long (it’s easiest to work on a piece of plastic wrap and use the plastic to help form the log). Wrap the logs well and chill them for at least 2 hours. The dough may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- Trim the ends of the roll if they are ragged and slice the log into 1/3-inch-thick cookies.
- Place the rounds on the baking sheet, leaving an inch of space between each cookie, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the baking sheet at the halfway point. When properly baked, the cookies will be light brown on the bottom, lightly golden around the edges and pale on top. Let the cookies rest 1 or 2 minutes before carefully lifting them onto a cooling rack with a wide metal spatula. Repeat with the remaining log of dough. (Make sure the sheet is cool before baking each batch.)
- When the cookies are cool, melt the 2c white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, 15 seconds at a time (set microwave to low power level if you can, white chocolate melts at very low temperature) until completely melted. Make sure to stir in between intervals.
- Dip each cookie (I like to just dip half of the cookie) in the melted white chocolate and place on wax paper.