Melt-in-your-mouth crisp gingerbread shortbread cookies with cranberries are an easy slice and bake cookie recipe and will be a hit at any holiday party.
Why you’ll love it: Easy slice and bake cookie dough can be frozen, sliced, and baked whenever you want fresh cookies.
How long it takes: 15 minutes to prep and at least 30 minutes to chill.
Equipment you’ll need: mixer, baking sheet
Servings: makes 2 dozen
I’m on a gingerbread kick this season. Did you happen to see my gingersnaps (they’re the best!) or these gingerbread muffins (with white chocolate!)? I knew I had to add gingerbread shortbread cookies to my baking list.
I have to say, I think these gingerbread shortbread cookies may be my favorite new cookie creation of this year. Thanks to a medley of warm spices (ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and cloves), gingerbread cookies are downright exciting to eat. Dried cranberries add a bit of chewiness as well as tartness that really balances the flavors perfectly.
Why You’ll Love This Shortbread Cookie Recipe
- They are super easy to make! It’s no secret that I love shortbread cookies. You can make the dough in less than 15 minutes with ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. There’s nothing complicated about shortbread.
- Shortbread cookies taste so good! Butter is a KEY ingredient and you can tell by the way the cookie melts in your mouth. Of course, butter also gives wonderful flavor to the cookies. The warm spices and molasses are key components, too.
- You can make slice and bake cookies ahead. The very best part about shortbread cookies is that you can make the dough ahead of time and freeze it. Pull it out of the freezer any time you need freshly baked cookies. Slice and bake as many as you want. You can even use your toaster oven if you only want a few cookies.
Storage and Make Ahead Ideas
- Freeze the dough. One of the features you’ll love about shortbread cookies is that you can make the dough and freeze it to bake later. Make the dough into a log (or shorter logs) and wrap it securely. It will keep for up to 3 months. Bake cookies as needed.
- Freeze baked cookies. After the cookies have cooled completely, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, or put the cookies in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries, optional
- In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (see note), cream butter, powdered sugar, molasses, vanilla, and salt until smooth.
- With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture until combined. Add cranberries, if using, and mix until combined, by hand if needed.
- On wax paper or parchment paper, form into a 12- to 14-inch log and freeze at least 30 minutes or until firm. The dough can also be refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to 3 months (see note).
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the shortbread dough into ¼ -inch slices; place them evenly on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake cookies for 11 to 14 minutes or until firm and set. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack. Once the cookies have completely cooled, store in an airtight container.
- If you don’t have a stand mixer, use a hand mixer to blend the butter, sugar, molasses, vanilla and salt until smooth. You’ll probably need to stir the flour mixture in by hand unless you have a powerful mixer.
- Freeze the dough. Make the dough into a log (or shorter logs) and wrap it securely. It will keep for up to 3 months. Let it set out at room temperature for 30 minutes before slicing it. Bake cookies as directed.
- Freeze baked cookies. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, or put the cookies in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.