Butter cookies with dried cranberries and roasted pecans

Butter cookies with dried cranberry and roasted pecans

The inspiration for this recipe arose a few years ago, when my mother-in-law gave me a huge bag of freshly picked pecans. I was absolutely delighted, of course, but wondered what I would end up making with all these pecans.

Since the holidays were around the corner, making cookies was the first thing that came to mind. I thought that dried cranberries would be a perfect complement to the pecans. Add to both a bit of orange zest, and mix it all in a buttery dough… I was ready to bake dozens!

Since then, these little square-shaped butter cookies have become a favorite holiday treat in our household. They keep well for a couple of weeks and make perfect stocking stuffers, but I must admit they’re most enticing when just-baked.

Food & spirit pairing: Cognac or Grand Marnier with butter cookies

Spirit icon
For an after-dinner treat, serve these buttery cookies with a glass of Cognac or Grand Marnier.


Butter cookies with dried cranberries and roasted pecans

Butter cookies with dried cranberries and roasted pecans

makes 2 dozen
active time: 30 min

  1. 8 tablespoons (4 oz) (115 g) unsalted butter – at room temperature
  2. 1/3 cup turbinado sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  4. 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest to taste (use a microplane grater)
  5. 1/2 cup pecans – roasted (see Cook’s note)
  6. 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  7. 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  8. pinch sea salt
  1. unbleached all-purpose flour to roll the dough
  2. 1 large baking sheet – lightly buttered or lined with a Silpat

  1. Step 1:camera icon Place the butter, sugar, vanilla and orange zest in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix at medium speed until the mixture is fluffy and pale. Set aside.
  2. Step 2: Place the roasted pecans in the bowl of a food processor. Process until very finely ground (be careful not to over-process the nuts or they’ll turn into nut butter). Transfer to a bowl. Place the dried cranberries in the bowl of a food processor. Process until finely chopped.
  3. Step 3:camera icon Place the pecans, cranberries, flour and salt in a medium bowl and stir until well blended. Add to the butter mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until wet crumbs form. Using your fingers, bring the crumbs together until it forms a dough. On a lightly floured surface, shape the dough into 2 cylinders about 8″ long. Flatten the cylinder on four sides to make a square log. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (180ºC).
  5. Step 4:camera icon Cut each log in twelve, 5/8″ thick slices. Place the slices on the prepared pan 1″ apart and bake for 12 to 13 minutes until the cookies are golden at the bottom. Transfer pan to a cooling rack and let the cookies cool in their pan. Once cooled to room temperature, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up 2 weeks.
  6. Cook’s note: To roast the nuts, preheat the oven to 350°F (180˚C). Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until pale-golden. Cool to room temperature before using in the recipe.


Butter cookies with dried cranberry and roasted pecans

cookies, cranberry, pecan

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17 Comments

  • Reply Nancy October 9, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    I can’t wait to take these to Christmas they are soo delicious and addictive! Also, pretty easy to do. A great recipe which I am adding to my favorite cookie recipes. Thank you!!

    • Reply Viviane October 11, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      You’re most welcome, Nancy! Enjoy…

  • Reply Eftychia January 1, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Thank you so much for this recipe. Yesterday I found a package of dried cranberries and I was wondering what to do with them. Happy New Year!

    • Reply Viviane January 2, 2013 at 5:46 pm

      Eftychia! You are most welcome… And a very happy New Year to you and yours!

  • Reply Donna Ford December 24, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Viviane, Your cookies look wonderful. I will give them a try. Thank you! Merry Christmas to you & Marc!

  • Reply Deb December 23, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    The festive red of the cranberries pair ever so sweetly with the pecans! A luscious cookie to add to the season of cookie mania! Tied in a green ribbon all the nostalgia of the holidays is embraced in your luscious cookie.

  • Reply Balvinder December 23, 2012 at 11:05 am

    The cookies really look thick and luscious and the speckled cranberries make them more beautiful. Can’t wait to try them!

  • Reply cakewhiz December 23, 2012 at 2:24 am

    this is surely a nice change from the regular holiday cookie recipes. i buy almonds, pecans and walnuts in bulk from sam’s club… so, this recipe has been bookmarked. Hopefully, i can try them out soon coz they look divine! :D

  • Reply Angie@Angie's Recipes December 23, 2012 at 12:08 am

    Buttery nutty cookies with my favourite dried fruit…what’s not to love these gorgeous festive cookies!!
    Have a blessed holiday season!

  • Reply Kim Caldwell December 19, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    It’ll soon be a family favorite around here too. :) Thanks, Viviane and Seasons Greetings!

    • Reply Viviane December 20, 2012 at 2:42 pm

      Kim! Thank you so much dear… Wishing you and your happy clan a festive and delicious holiday!

  • Reply El December 19, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    You always make the most delectable things. They look like they’d be perfect with tea.

    • Reply Viviane December 20, 2012 at 2:41 pm

      Thank you so much El! Tea sounds good, of course. But, being a good French woman, I’ve been enjoying them with a glass of Cognac!

  • Reply Evelyne@cheapethniceatz December 19, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Oh butter cookies are the best! I really like this one with your additions. I would love to get a big bag of pecans :-)

  • Reply Anita at Hungry Couple December 19, 2012 at 9:50 am

    I love the idea behind these cookies. And I love how thick they are!

    • Reply Viviane December 19, 2012 at 10:52 am

      Thank you Anita!

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