Is it time for holiday baking yet? I love the start of winter because it means cozy days spent cooking up good food and baking up sweet treats in the kitchen. Cranberries are a classic winter flavor, so today I thought I would pair them with almonds in shortbread form. These Vegan Cranberry Almond Shortbread cookies are buttery, tart with a touch of sweet, and nutty. They’d be great dipped in some chocolate or dusted with powdered sugar!
Shortbread is great because it requires very few ingredients. Shortbread originates from Scotland and typically contains 3 ingredients: butter, flour, and sugar. To make these cookies vegan friendly, I’m substituting Earth Balance non-dairy butter. The main ingredients in this recipe are:
- Salted Vegan Butter
- Powdered Sugar
- Almond Extract
- Chopped Almonds
- Fresh Cranberries
Steps to Make Shortbread
To make the shortbread, you’ll cream the room temperature vegan butter together with the powdered sugar. It’s important to use room temperature vegan butter and not cold or melted butter! This will help give us the crumbly texture that shortbread is known for.
You’ll then add in the flour and almond extract. At this point, the dough should have a very crumbly appearance (see the image above). This is totally okay! The dough will come together once you start shaping it.
Next, you’ll fold in the chopped fresh cranberries and almonds. You’ll want to mix these in until they’re well distributed throughout the dough. At this point, the dough should still be a crumbly mixture.
With your hands, you’ll shape the dough into a loose ball and transfer it to a lightly floured surface. I found it helpful to loosely wrap the dough with some plastic wrap at this point. You can use the plastic wrap to roll the dough into a log that is about 12 inches long (and about 2 inches in diameter). Then, you’ll wrap up the dough and chill it for at least 30 minutes.
This step is important because it makes it easier to slice the log into individual cookies! If you don’t chill the dough, it will be too crumbly to slice. I made my dough the night before and let it chill overnight. You could also make this dough a few days in advance and keep it tightly wrapped in the fridge until you’re ready to bake the cookies.
Time for Baking!
After chilling, you can slice the log into discs about 1/2 an inch wide. You’ll then bake them for a short 10 minutes. These vegan cranberry almond shortbread cookies are perfect for holiday baking. They make a great, festive Christmas cookie!
You can store these cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days (although they’re better the fresher they are). You can also easily freeze these cookies in an airtight freezer bag. I know I currently have some in my freezer for those late-night cravings!
If you’re looking for some more festive holiday baking ideas, check out these fun recipes:
- Vegan Spiced Orange Tea Bundt Cake
- Cranberry Orange Waffles
- Vegan Brown Sugar Grapefruit Donuts
- Peppermint Mocha Cookies
- Classic Vegan Snickerdoodles
~ Happy Baking! ~
- 9 tbsp salted vegan butter, room temperature (Earth Balance)
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ tsp almond extract
- ¼ cup finely chopped almonds
- 3/4 cup finely chopped cranberries
- 1 3/4 cups cup all-purpose flour
- In a medium-sized bowl, cream the vegan butter and the powdered sugar together.
- Add the almond extract and all-purpose flour. Stir together until the dough is a crumbly mixture.
- Add in the finely chopped almonds and cranberries. Stir until they are evenly distributed in the dough.
- In the bowl, gently press the dough together so it forms a ball.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured or parchment-lined surface and roll the dough into a log shape (12 inches long and about 2 inches in diameter). If you’re finding the dough too crumbly, place the log onto a sheet of plastic wrap and use the wrap to help form the log.
- Wrap the log tightly in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes. You could also make the dough the night before and let it chill overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Unwrap the log of dough and slice it into ½ inch wide discs. This should make 18-24 cookies. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet about 1 inch apart from each other.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges just barely start to turn golden brown.
- Let cool on a wire rack.
- Top with a dusting of powdered sugar.
This recipe is slightly sweet. If you prefer a sweeter cookie, I recommend dipping your shortbread in chocolate or topping with powdered sugar.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 100Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gSodium: 5mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
Nutritional info is an estimate.
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