Cranberry and Pecan Shortbread

Holiday Cookie Contest

Cookies and the holidays just seem to go together! Our contest proved to be very popular with well over 200 entries received. A favorite of young and old alike, cookies appeal to the Cookie Monster in all of us.

It was a difficult decision narrowing down the choices and the ultimate winners. Judges commented that the cookies in first, second and third places “tasted like Christmas.” First place goes to the Peppermint Mocha Cookies submitted by Julia Herschberger. Judges loved the combination of chocolate, coffee and mint making it the clear winner. The Stroopwafels submitted by Rachel Peterson and Gingerbread Macarons from Isabel Talamantes contain the warm winter spices appreciated by all.

Enjoy the eight recipes included in these pages and be sure to go to to check out all submissions. You just may find some new recipes for your Cookie Monsters.

Cranberry and Pecan Shortbread

Course Cookies
Servings 2 dozen


  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries chopped
  • 1/2 cup Pecans chopped
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest = 1 orange


  • Cream butter and sugar.
  • Add milk and vanilla, mix.
  • Add flour and salt, mix.
  • Fold in cranberries, pecans and orange zest.
  • Shape dough into log, roll in plastic wrap or waxed paper. Chill 1 hour or until firm.
  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Remove paper, slice into 1/2-inch slices. Bake 10-13 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom.


Note: The light and citrusy flavor of cranberries, orange zest and pecans make this festive shortbread cookie brighten up the holiday season. My 90-year-old uncle requests these cookies every year.