Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies with Dark Chocolate and Flaked Sea Salt

These cookies are so delicious they will soon become a tradition at your Thanksgiving dinner! Delicate, yet bursting with bright orange and cranberry flavors. Don't miss a little sprinkle of flaked French Sea Salt on top for a contrast to the sweetness.


PREHEAT OVEN to 350 degrees


  • 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (do not use microwave to warm, let butter sit on the counter overnight.)
  • 2/3 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (you can substitute with vanilla extract)
  • Zest of one orange
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/6 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 6 oz dark chocolate bar, chopped (we love Ghirardelli 60%)

1. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and confectioners sugar on medium speed, scraping down the sides an bottom of the bowl, making sure you get every bit of the butter.

2. Add the vanilla bean paste, salt and orange zest.

3. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour until just combined.

4. Add the cranberries. Mix until combined; it will look like sand, but don't be alarmed!

5. Pour onto a piece of parchment. With your hands, form the dough into a ball, then into a log. You may have to work it for a minute or two. The log should be 2'' in diameter.

6. Put the log into plastic wrap; try and wrap it as tight as you can and twist both sides. Then, roll on to a cold counter to get it nice and round.

7. Refrigerate for at least one hour for the fats to cool so the cookies will hold their shape in the oven.

8. Cut slices in 1/4" discs; place on parchment on cookie sheet.

9. Bake at 350 for 13-15 minutes, or until edges become lightly brown.

10. Place on rack to cool.

11. Heat chocolate slowly on top of double boiler. Dip cooled cookies in so that half of the cookie is coated.

12. Place on parchment to cool slightly before sprinkling with flaked sea salt (use sparingly.) Do not put it on while the chocolate is still warm or it will sink in. It looks best when it sits on tip of the chocolate.