Macadamia Nut Cranberry Shortbread

Tart cranberries and salty, crunchy macadamia nuts are a match made in cookie heaven!

Macadamia Nut Cranberry Shortbread
Photo: Constatine Poulos
Prep Time:
45 mins
Bake Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
45 mins


  • 4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 cup chilled unsalted butter (1 pound)

  • 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts

  • 1 cup white baking pieces

  • ½ recipe Candied Cranberries (coated with white granulated sugar)

  • ½ cup coarse white decorating sugar

Candied Cranberries

  • 1 cup grapefruit juice

  • 1 cup cranberry juice

  • 3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 orange, zested

  • 1 lemon, zested

  • Pinch salt

  • 1 12 ounce package frozen cranberries, thawed

  • ¼ cup red decorating sugar

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with parchment paper; set aside.

  2. In a large bowl stir together the flour, granulated sugar and salt. Coarsely shred the butter over the flour mixture. Toss in with a fork. Use your fingers to gently massage the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal and the mixture sticks together when squeezed between your fingers.

  3. Add the nuts, baking pieces, and cranberries and stir lightly to mix. Transfer to the prepared baking pan and press evenly. Sprinkle the top with coarse sugar. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until top is golden brown. Remove and cool in pan on a wire rack for at least 2 hours.

  4. Remove from pan and cut into bars. Cover and store shortbread in the refrigerator for up to 3 days (or in the freezer for 3 months).

Candied Cranberries

  1. In a large saucepan combine the grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, 3 cups sugar, vanilla bean, cinnamon, zest, and salt. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar has dissolved. Remove and allow to cool until warm but not hot, about minutes.

  2. Add the cranberries to the mixture and stir. Let stand until room temperature. Transfer to a bowl; cover and chill overnight.

  3. Drain cranberries well, reserving syrup and vanilla bean. Cover and chill the syrup with the vanilla bean for up to 3 weeks. Remove 1/2 (about 2 cups) of the cranberries. Toss with 1/4 cup red decorating sugar. Toss remaining cranberries with the 1/4 cup white sugar.

  4. Spread the cranberries out in a parchment paper-lined shallow baking pan, keeping the colors separate. Let stand for 1 hour to dry. Store loosely covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

275 Calories
17g Fat
29g Carbs
2g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 32
Calories 275
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 31mg 10%
Sodium 85mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0.8mg 4%
Calcium 10mg 1%
Iron 0.9mg 5%
Potassium 41mg 1%
Folate, total 29.5mcg
Vitamin B-12 0mcg
Vitamin B-6 0mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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