Can I get a YES to a semi-sweet, savory holiday cookie?! Ah, the powdered sugar is deceiving, isn’t it? Take one bite of these cranberry Parmesan shortbread cookies, and you are in for the ultimate surprise. Buttery goodness with the perfect balance of sweet n’ savory!
Being volunteer photographer for this lovely blog, my hubby, Saba, enjoys lots of perks– not least of which is snacking on the job! Normally, as soon as he sees me collecting ingredients, he quick grabs the camera and begins to snap pictures. I take some myself; but admittedly, he is the better photographer. Besides, I don’t mind the help. I usually try and reward him with double portions; and he is perfectly content getting paid in food 🙂
We had a lot of fun working together on these shortbread cookies this morning. Because this recipe is so simple, we had time to have coffee; chat about holiday shopping that we are so behind on; and play around with the camera and our new awesome macro camera lens!
It happens more often than not, that I wake up with thoughts on what to make next. I guess food and cookery consumes a lot of my time, waking or sleeping. This morning, I shared with Saba that I kinda dreamed up a sweet n’ savory holiday shortbread cookie recipe. He fully agreed that it would be a nice digression from the norm. Don’t get me wrong, I have a pretty big sweet tooth as you can tell by my chocolate turtles or Greek baklava. And I do enjoy colorful and sugary Christmas cookies. BTW, how do you feel about holiday cookies with bits of hard candy cane on top? Yay or Nay?
Regardless of your Christmas cookie disposition, I feel that it would not be hard to appreciate a buttery shortbread cookie with cranberries, Parmesan and rosemary. Am I right?
I was worried, that since they aren’t too sweet, my tween daughter wouldn’t really appreciate these cookies as “holiday worthy.” Holding back any nudging or commentary, I let Dara take a bite and decide for herself. To my surprise, her eyes grew wide with excitement as she exclaimed, “These taste like Christmas! And in a good way!” Probing further as to what she meant by “in a good way,” my tween surprised me again explaining that the flavors are so good together, but she is not overwhelmed by any flavor in particular. Dara loved that this cookie is neither too sweet, nor simply a salty cracker. There you have it, folks! My biggest critic approves.
To be fair, I should also tell you that my four-year-old preferred an Oreo over this sophisticated cranberry Parmesan shortbread cookie 🙂
This is a very simple recipe, and you can even prepare the dough and leave it in the fridge overnight. It takes only 15 minutes of prep time, and 12 minutes to bake. Anyone can make it! Serve next to your favorite appetizer bites; dust with a little extra powdered sugar; or dress it up with a swipe of jelly and a little prosciutto. YUM!
Would love it if you PIN this recipe to your holiday board! And SHARE it with friends.
Here is how to make cranberry Parmesan shortbread cookies:
Place 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar, 1/3 cup of cranberries, 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan, rosemary and salt in a large food processor. Pulse a few times to combine.
Now add 2 sticks of butter and the olive oil. Pulse a few more times until soft dough forms.
Unplug food processor and take your dough out carefully. Place dough on work surface, and gently roll into a log (about 2 inches in diameter).
Line a long piece of foil with plastic wrap. Place gently on the shorter end (closest to you); roll the wrap twisting the ends in opposite direction so that the dough log is tightly wrapped.
Leave in the fridge for one hour to chill and harden. When ready, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut the dough log into about 1/3-1/2 inch-thick slices; and place the rounds on two large baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies begin to slightly brown. You do not want these to brown too much.
When you take these cookies out of the oven, they will still be slightly soft. Leave them on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to wire rack to fully cool.
Dust with a little powdered sugar, if you want. Or simply serve next to your favorite appetizer bites.
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- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2-3 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan Rigiano
- 2 (16 tbsp) sticks unsalted butter
- 2 tsp good olive oil
- Place the flour, sugar, cranberries, rosemary and salt and Parmesan in a large food processor. Pulse a few times to combine.
- Now add butter and olive oil. Pulse a few more times until soft dough forms.
- Unplug food processor and take your dough out carefully.
- Place dough on work surface, and gently roll into a log. Line a long piece of foil with plastic wrap. Place gently on the shorter end (closest to you); roll the wrap twisting the ends in opposite direction so that the dough log is tightly wrapped.
- Leave in the fridge for one hour to chill and harden.
- When ready, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cut the dough log into about 1/3-1/2 inch-thick slices; and place the rounds on two large baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies begin to slightly brown.
- Cookies will be soft when they come out of the oven. Leave them on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to wire rack to fully cool.
- Serve next to your favorite appetizer bites.