Cranberry Noels - delicious holiday cookies. Simple shortbread cookie recipe for Christmas. A crunchy texture of shortbread paired with the chewiness of the dried cranberries – all in one cookie!
I crave no fancy cookies for Christmas - just give me a simple shortbread cookie and I'll be happy. It's all about simple cookies that taste good and bring back the childhood memories during the holidays season. I started last week with simple almond shortbread cookies with Amaretto, and these Christmas cranberry noels from Martha Stewart are also simple to make and so good to taste: a crunchy texture paired with the chewiness of the cranberries - all in one cookie! This holiday recipe uses the basic icebox cookie dough with the addition of dried cranberries. The cranberries are chopped in a food processor, and I omitted pecans from the original cranberry noel recipe. Then, after the cookie dough shaped as logs have been in the freezer/refrigerator, the cookie dough logs are rolled in decorative red sanding sugar to make cookies even more festive. Look at this beautiful log of raw cookie dough:
The freezing of the dough for about 40 minutes and then refrigerating it for 30 minutes makes the dough stiffer which, in turn, makes it easier to slice the cookie dough in round shapes. You could also use cookie cutters like the star on my photo by letting the cookie dough soften a bit to room temperature. I did this to one of my cookie dough logs - left it on the counter to soften to reach room temperature so that I could roll it to the desired size of cookie cutters.
This raw cookie dough wrapped in plastic can be stored in the freezer for a couple of months, and once baked, the cranberry noels keep well at room temperature in an air-tight container for a month.
First, mix the cookie batter ingredients:
Add chopped cranberries to the cookie dough
Rolling cookie dough logs of different sizes if you like (for bigger and smaller cookies)
Rolling the edges of cookie dough log in red sanding sugar:
Placing sliced cookie dough on a baking sheet
Bake cranberry noels in the preheated oven at 350 F just until edges just start turning brown, about 12 minutes:
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup dried cranberries
- red decorating sugar , for decorating
- In a large bowl, using mixer, cream butter, sugar on medium speed until fluffy. Add milk and vanilla, beat to combine.
- With mixer on low, gradually add flour and salt, continue beating until dough forms.
- Chop dried cranberries in a food processor into smaller bits. Add chopped cranberries to the dough, mix with the spatula to combine.
- Divide dough into 2 portions. Shape each portion into a log. I shaped each portion into different sized logs: small and big for smaller and bigger cookies. Wrap logs in plastic wrap, put in the freezer for 30 minutes, then in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Place red decorating sugar on a plate. Roll each cookie log in red decorating sugar, pressing sugar to the dough to stick. Using sharp knife cut each log into thin slices, about¼ inch thick.
- Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until edges just start turning brown, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven, place cookies to cool on wire rack.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.