Mom's Shortbread Cookies

Baking should not take all day. But quality should not be sacrificed either. I think this crunchy, rich, and definitely addicting shortbread cookie from my mother’s recipe box is a nice balance between time spent baking and the delicious results.

Makes about 4 dozen


  • 1 cup shelled natural pistachio nuts
  • 2 1/4 cups King Arthur unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • Ingredients


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast them for about 5 minutes; watch that they do not burn. Cool, then coarsely chop and set aside.
  4. In a medium size bowl mix the flour and salt and set aside.
  5. In a stand mixer or with a hand held mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very smooth. Add the vanilla and beat for 1 minute. Add the cranberries, cherries and nuts and combine on low speed. Slowly blend in the flour and salt.
  6. Gather up the dough and transfer it to a large sheet of wax paper. Pat the dough into a rectangle roughly 4 inches wide and 18 inches long. Use the wax paper to help you roll the dough into a log shape. Neaten the ends and place the wax paper wrapped dough in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  7. Lower the oven temperature to 325°F.
  8. Remove the wax paper from the log and using a sharp knife slice the log into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Or slice thicker rounds if you prefer. Space the cookies about 1 inch apart on the baking sheets and bake for about 10 minutes. The cookies should not brown but remain pale with just a hint of browning around the edges.
  9. Cool on wire racks and grab a cup of coffee, tea or cold milk and enjoy this treat from Mom.
  10. Note: Cookies like shortbread can be made ahead and frozen if well wrapped and sealed in tins, plastic containers or plastic bags.

This recipe was featured on Season 22 - Episode 2215.

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Sue Richardson

Mary Ann, I just watched you make these on Create and can’t wait to try them. They’ll make a beautiful addition to my Christmas cooky trays!


Very delicious cookie and so pretty!!
Love your cooking shows…..keep them coming.

Mary Joy Hendrickson

Maryann, I love your show! My grandparents were immigrants from Northern Italy and I had the privilege of my early years growing up upstairs from them. My Grandmother was a wonderful cook and enjoyed being in the kitchen cooking and making meals from scratch. She loved teaching me to cook and enjoying producing the delicious “homemade” noodles, sauce and other specialties of the Italian homemaker and mother! Thank you for helping me remember so many wonderful times! Sincerely, Mary Joy Ventura Hendrickson


OMG. Couldn’t wait to make these. I watched video and followed directions EXACTLY. Anxious to see the finished product but to my dismay they never formed and my oven is covered in a soupy mess.
What do you think happened ?

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