Chocolate-Dipped Pistachio Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

Chocolate-Dipped Pistachio Cranberry Shortbread Cookies | Dinner of Herbs

I would have preferred to use dark chocolate.

However, I only had semisweet chocolate on hand, and since I am moving out of my apartment in just a few short months, I am trying to use up the food that I have and not buy more.

cooling rack

I was craving a shortbread cookie, but the amount of butter in shortbread cookies depresses me. Now, this recipe is still far from healthy, but it is a bit improved.  I cut out some of the butter and replaced it with 1/3-less fat cream cheese (better known as neufchatel cream cheese).  I suppose I could also say that I added some fruit (cranberries) and nuts (pistachios) and try to pretend like this was a wonderful healthy choice…but I know I am not fooling anyone.  Let’s just compromise and say that these are delicious cookies that are slightly less unhealthy than normal, but they still should only be considered as an occasional indulgence.


What could make the salty pistachios and the tangy cranberries even better?  Chocolate.  Of course.

final-chocolate pistachio cranberry cream cheese shortbread cookies

The Recipe


6 Tbsp butter, softened.

2 oz neufchatel cream cheese

3/8 c sugar

1 c all-purpose flour

1/4 c dried cranberries

1/4 c roasted pistachios, chopped

1/3 c semisweet chocolate chips

Servings: 20 cookies

Heat oven to 350oF.  Cream softened butter, cream cheese, and sugar together in a large bowl.  Add in flour and mix well.  Fold in the cranberries and pistachios.  Drop by spoonful onto cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.  Bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are golden brown.

Allow cookies to cool on a wire rack.  While they are cooling, melt chocolate in a double boiler* or microwave if you do not have a double boiler.  When the cookies are cooled and the chocolate is melted, dip the cookies in the chocolate, or spread the chocolate on half of each cookie.**  Enjoy!

*I used a makeshift double boiler…and I think it actually worked better than a normal double boiler, because the boiling water surrounded more of the chocolate, rather than just heating the bottom.

Who needs a double boiler when you can make your own?
Who needs a double boiler when you can make your own?


**I started with the dip method, but I found it much easier to not waste as much chocolate by using the spreading method.



17 thoughts on “Chocolate-Dipped Pistachio Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

    1. Thanks! I have only a point-and-shoot camera and no other equipment, so the quality of my photos is usually left up to chance, depending on the weather that day. (It is very hard to take a good picture during the winter when there is little or weak sunlight!) Let me know how the vegan-alterations go!

    1. True, very true… I have been trying to slowly lower the amount of sugar I use in recipes, and it seems to be working to cure my overly sweet sweet-tooth. But I don’t believe I will ever be one of those people who is like, “I can’t even eat fruit, because it’s too sweet….and I hate sugar”.

  1. Ooooof mega drool. I could do with one of those right now. I love pistachios and shortbread cookies, but have never thought about putting the two together. Will defo try this out 🙂

    1. Yes, that is another good option. I chose the double-boiler method because I wanted the chocolate to stay melted long enough for me to dip all the cookies, without having to reheat it several times in the microwave. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. love love love your makeshift double-boiler. Way to think outside of the box! Also, absolutely to-die-for cookies. Dipped in chocolate? Yes, please. Pistachios and dried cranberries? Um, yeah. Butter and cream cheese? Yes yes yes. You are gifted when it comes to how you think through recipes and food 🙂

    1. I loved them, so I will most certainly be making them again. And when I do, I will have to play around with the cream cheese: butter ratio, to see how little butter I can use. And maybe next time, I will have dark chocolate on hand! Thanks for saying I think through recipes–I often feel that I am just running around the kitchen, grabbing things at random. Always nice to see what you have to say about my recipes. 🙂

      1. What I mean about how you “think through” recipes is that you have a good intuition about what works well. You don’t need to analytically think anything through as you just sense it. That’s my take, anyway. You’re gifted with food sense 🙂

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