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These Cranberry Orange Pistachio Cookies are not only festive, but the flavors really stand out in these buttery shortbread cookies. They’re a perfect Christmas cookie filled with festive colors of the holiday and the flavors are so good. They’ll be a great addition to your holiday cookie tray, or a Cookie Exchange.

The dough can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 3 days in advance, or put in zip top bags in the freezer, then just thaw in the refrigerator, slice, and bake.

*When it comes to the orange zest, you can use a microplane grater and zest the orange, or you can have more flavor and a bit bigger pieces by peeling the peel off the orange with a potato peeler, then chop it. You will be so amazed at the aroma of the orange zest this way, and you can see a bit more of the pieces in the dough since they’re a bit larger than when zesting.

A orange with a potato peeler and grated peels of orange rind.

grated orange peel

500 recipes like this one can be found in our cookbook “Rocky Mountain Lodge & Cabins’ MORE Favorites Recipes” which can be purchased at our Gift Shop.

And if you’re looking for a Colorado getaway, check out our Pikes Peak Guest Cabin at Rocky Mountain Lodge in the mountain community of Cascade, at Pikes Peak, near Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Woodland Park, and Green Mountain Falls.

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Recipe List:
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 14 Minutes
Total Time: 34 Minutes
Servings: About 40 cookies, depending on the size of the roll


  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh orange zest (see how I make mine in the description above)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract (not imitation)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cups dried cranberries, chopped
  • 3/4 cup unsalted pistachios, chopped
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted


  1. Cream together the butter, powdered sugar, orange zest, vanilla extract, and salt. Add the cranberries and pistachios and mix until combined. Add the flour and stir just until incorporated, do not overmix.

  2. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a log about 2-inches wide, and about 10-inches long. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days. It can also be frozen at this point, and put int he refrigerator to thaw.

  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Slice cookies about 1/4-inch thick. Place 2-inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake for about 14-15 minutes, until they are just barely starting to turn golden on the edges. Do not overbake. Remove from oven and cool on the cookie sheets.

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