Pecan Cranberry & Orange Shortbread Cookies

December 18, 2019

Holiday

By: Jasmine Briones 

Chunks of naturally sweet & buttery pecans, pieces of tart and chewy cranberry PLUS a fresh kick of zested orange — are you ready for the ultimate holiday cookie? These Pecan Cranberry & Orange Shortbread cookies are going to be a new holiday staple!

Overhead shot of pecan cranberry orange shortbread cookies with pecan garnishes on top on a white plate

In my opinion, this is a cookie that isn’t celebrated as often as it should be…so hopefully we are going to change that! 😉 This cookie should be on your holiday baking list because it’s equally as delicious as classics like gingerbread and sugar, it’s absolutely delicious and it’s SO easy to make! Trust me, everyone is going to LOVE it 🙂

Ingredients to make vegan pecan cranberry orange shortbread cookies

You don’t need anything fancy to put this shortbread together– vegan butter, flour, brown and granulated sugars, salt, baking powder, vanilla, cranberries, pecans and orange zest. If you’re an avid baker during the holidays like me, chances are you already have most if not all of this at home.

Overhead shot of pecans on a baking sheet to be roasted

A few notes:

  • Roast the pecans before baking: this really brings out their flavor and brings the cookie to life!
  • Chilling the dough is a MUST! Shape the dough into a compact log about 2 inches in diameter and 8 inches in length and then tightly wrap the log in plastic wrap, parchment paper or even a vegan wax wrap. We use Khala cloths and they are awesome.
  • Use a very sharp knife (serrated works best) to slice the log . If your knife is dull, it might have a hard time cutting through the pecans and cranberries and you will be left with a crumby mess.
  • The cookies will not spread much so they can be about 1/2-inch apart and be okay.
  • Once the cookies have cooled, drizzle them with the icing as desired, allow the icing to harden and then enjoy
  • Store the cookies in a sealed container at room temperature for about 7 days.
Overhead shot of pecan cranberry orange shortbread cookies on a baking sheet with icing

Looking for more holiday desserts? We’ve got you covered!

If you make this recipe, let us know what you think in the comments below! + If you post any photos on Instagram, make sure you tag us @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris so that we don’t miss it, we love seeing your photos!

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Overhead shot of pecan cranberry orange shortbread cookies with pecan garnishes on top on a white plate

Pecan Cranberry & Orange Shortbread Cookies


  • Author: Jasmine @ Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: About 20 cookies

Description

Chunks of naturally sweet & buttery pecans, pieces of tart and chewy cranberry PLUS a fresh kick of zested orange — are you ready for the ultimate holiday cookie? These Pecan Cranberry & Orange Shortbread cookies are going to be a new holiday staple!


Ingredients

Cookies

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) vegan butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup (51g) light brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup (31g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3.5g) salt
  • 1/2 cup (3 ounces or 60g) fresh pecan pieces
  • 1/2 cup (68g) dried cranberries
  • Zest of 1 orange (4g or about 1/2 tbsp)
  • 1 1/4 cups (150g) all purpose flour

Icing

  • 1/2 cup powdered  sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Water or almond milk, as needed to thin

Instructions

  1. Toast the pecans: Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Evenly distribute the pecans on the baking sheet and place into the oven to toast for 5 minutes. Watch carefully as they burn easily! Cool completely before proceeding.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the vegan butter and sugars until creamy. Add the vanilla, salt, and orange zest, and continue beating.
  3. Next, add in all of the cranberries and flour and slowly beat it in until combined. The dough may seem crumbly but the last step here is to use clean hands to squeeze and sort of “knead” the dough together until it comes together and compacts into a cookie dough. Add in the crushed pecans and mix it together by hand just until combined.
  4. Shape the dough into a compact log about 2 inches in diameter and 8 inches in length. Tightly wrap the log in plastic wrap, parchment paper or a vegan wax wrap and place it into the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. You can use the same one as earlier.
  6. Once the dough has chilled, using a very sharp knife (serrated works best), slice the log into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices and arrange them on a lined baking sheet. The cookies will not spread much so they can be about 1/2-inch apart and be okay.
  7. Place into the oven and bake for 17 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to cool completely.
  8. In the meantime, prepare the drizzle by mixing together the powdered sugar, orange juice and vanilla extract in a small bowl, and adding water or almond milk as needed to thin. Be careful! A little liquid goes a long way here.
  9. Once the cookies have cooled, drizzle them with the icing as desired, allow the icing to harden and then enjoy!
  10. Store the cookies in a sealed container at room temperature for about 7 days.
  • Category: Cookies, Christmas, Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Keywords: Cookies, Christmas, Dessert, Vegan, Pecan, Shortnbread, Cranberry, Orange

Nutrition facts label provided by Nutri Fox.

Disclaimer: The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional’s advice. This page may contain affiliate links, which simply means that we earn a commission if you purchase through those links, but your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!

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Recipe rating

  1. Jill Tinsley says:

    Getting the ingredients today to make this! Also, going to make your sugar cookies!

  2. cynthia says:

    made this twice already-so easy and delicious! all my coworkers were delighted and complimented on how good it is! thanks for sharing the recipe- already have the gingerbread dough in the fridge!

  3. Taryn says:

    Nothing is makes this roll into anything but a crumbly mess. What am I doing wrong?

    • That is odd!! Did you compact the dough together with your hands as called for? Another option to make sure these work is to weight out all of the ingredients. I would add a touch of liquid to fix it if it still somehow won’t work!

  4. Kirsten says:

    Made these for Christmas gifts. Absolutely delicious and perfect for the holidays!

  5. Michael says:

    These cookies are sooo tasty, festive & simple! Thank you so much for your recipe! 🙂

    Side note: I want to mention that I didn’t have vegan butter on hand, so I substituted it with refined coconut oil & it worked pretty well in the end. — But if anyone wants to do the same I’d suggest taking the ‘dough log’ out of the fridge much sooner, as the coconut oil hardens really quick & I had to bring it to room temperature to cut it without crumbling. Sorry, if that’s a long write-up, just wanted to mention it. Happy Holidays!

  6. Rachel says:

    Hi! Can you freeze the dough and bake later? Thanks!
    I’ve made them before and they are delicious (:

  7. Dijana says:

    love these. will make with kids this xmass. you skipped the add salt step in the recipe steps. i guess it goes after vanilla..
    thanks
    have a great hollyday season

  8. Alora says:

    Am I missing where it says to add the salt and orange zest? They’re in the the ingredient list but I don’t see when it says to add them! Also ended up with a crumbly mess ;( don’t know where I went wrong!!

    • Chris Petrellese says:

      Hey Alora,

      So sorry to hear the recipe didn’t work for you 🙁 not sure what could’ve gone wrong. The salt and zest are added in with the vanilla. The recipe is now updated!

  9. Sandy says:

    These taste WONDERFUL but if and only if you can cut the dough log without everything crumbling on you. I substituted walnuts for pecans and that worked really great as well.

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