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Cranberry and Pistachio Cookies

by James Morton

Every year, I like to create a wee recipe to use up leftover Christmas cranberries. Last year, it was the muffin: a bake so adaptable you can throw just about anything at it and it will turn out delicious. I still recommend you do.

Prep time

20 minutes

Cook time

15 minutes






Fresh, festive cranberries were so last year. This time, I want to explore the dried variety. They seem more 2016. More bearded and sourdough and generally West-Coast-USA. Cookies seem an appropriate container, then. Cookies are forgiving. Cookies are dead easy. Like a muffin mix, you can add things to a cookie dough and there’s just little chance of you churning out something that people aren’t going to want to eat. Dried cranberries aren’t enough on their own, though – they’re chewy. We need a contrasting texture. There are two ways in which to achieve this. The first, as I’ve done here, is to add a nut of your choice. Pistachios are not only delicious, but they’re green. Green! How seasonal. The second thing you can do is burn them. The texture will be contrasting I guarantee you that.


Step 1

First, preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4. Line a baking tray with a sheet of baking paper (non-stick greaseproof paper).

Step 2

In a large bowl, weigh your butter. If it isn’t soft, give it a buzz in the microwave until it’s nice and soft. Add both your sugars, and mix these all together until combined. You don’t want it light and fluffy – just mixed.

Step 3

Add your egg, and mix. Again, you don’t want to whisk or mix vigorously.

Step 4

Finally, add your flour, baking powder, pistachios and cranberries. Mix these all together into a dough.

Step 5

Cover your bowl with cling film and place it in the fridge for at least 10 minutes, but half an hour if you have time. If you want, you can make the dough up to several days in advance and they’ll only get better over time.

Step 6

Scoop dessert-spoonfuls, of cookie dough onto your prepared tray, making sure to get plenty of nuts and fruit in each one. Remember to leave loads of space between them.

Step 7

Bake your cookies for 12-15 minutes, or until just blushing golden brown around the sides. They’ll seem almost cake-like and gooey when they’re just out the oven, but they will firm up to a perfect chewy consistency as they cool.


Top Tip:

If you prefer thicker cookies that spread out less in the oven, make sure you chill them for a few hours before baking. You can even freeze them, and bake them straight from frozen. 



  • 170g Graham’s unsalted butter, soft
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g soft light brown sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • 125g plain flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 100g pistachios, shelled
  • 100g dried cranberries