White chocolate and cranberry are a classic flavor combination for holiday cookies! These slice-and-bake shortbread cookies are beautifully studded with dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks. They're great as is or decorated with melted white chocolate and sanding sugar for extra sparkle.
Beat butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
Add the egg, vanilla, and salt, and mix to combine.
Add the flour and mix until smooth.* Then stir in the dried cranberries and white chocolate.
Roll the dough into a log about 2-2.5 inches in diameter. Roll the log in turbinado sugar, if desired. Wrap the log tightly in plastic wrap then place it in the fridge to chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap the log of cookie dough, slice it into ¼-inch slices, and place the slices on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are just starting to turn a light golden brown. Let cool for a couple of minutes on the tray, then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling. Let the cookies cool completely before decorating with melted white chocolate and additional sanding sugar if using.
I recommend chopping bars of white chocolate into chunks, rather than using white chocolate chips. The chocolate bars will be easier to cut through and result in more evenly shaped cookies.
Don't attempt to use food coloring to dye white chocolate - the water content will cause the chocolate to seize. Instead, you'll want to buy commercially dyed melting wafers or use white chocolate for a white drizzle.
If the dough is too crumbly after adding the flour and won't hold together, add a small splash of water (up to 1 tablespoon) until it's easy to work with. The dough should hold together when pressed, but it shouldn't be very sticky.
Keywords: White Chocolate Cranberry Shortbread Cookies, cranberry Christmas cookies, slice and bake shortbread cookies