Cookies & candies

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 cranberry 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 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: 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: 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: 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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15 Comments

  • 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!

  • 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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!

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