This vegan, gluten-free cranberry & pistachio shortbread with almond icing is buttery, crisp, crunchy, sweet, dip-able, festive, and super simple to make.
These Cranberry + Pistachio Shortbread Bars have got it all going on, which makes them perfect for holiday baking. This shortbread comes together with just 9 ingredients and a breezy 30+ minutes. It’s basically a fancy, dressed-up variation of the shortbread in these homemade twix bars.
Chopped dried cranberries add a chewy texture and the pistachios offer an addictive, nutty crunch. A subtly sweet almond icing is made by melting together coconut butter and almond extract, and a quick drizzle atop the bars offers some eye appeal and yet another layer of flavor.
These shortbread bars are sweet enough to satisfy a dessert craving, yet balanced enough to make a strong argument for their inclusion in your breakfast routine. As a matter of fact, they’re absolutely awesome dipped in coffee or tea. So, go on: dip ’em, dunk ’em, and do it proudly.
Cranberry & Pistachio Shortbread with Almond Icing
Chopped dried cranberries add a chewy texture and the pistachios offer an addictive, nutty crunch to this simple shortbread. A subtly sweet almond icing is made by melting together coconut butter and almond extract, and a quick drizzle atop the bars offers some eye appeal and yet another layer of flavor. These shortbread bars are sweet enough to satisfy a dessert craving, yet balanced enough to make a strong argument for their inclusion in your breakfast routine. I love to dip them in hot coffee or tea!
For the Shortbread
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup raw pistachios (use pepitas for a nut-free option)
For the Almond Icing
- 1/3 cup coconut butter*
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (use vanilla extract for a nut-free option)
- 1/16 teaspoon Stevia powder (optional)
To Make the Shortbread
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8" x 11 1/2" rectangular tart pan with coconut oil. Alternatively, line an 8" x 12" in baking tray with parchment paper.
- Add the rolled oats to a food processor, and process for 3-4 minutes or until you have a fine oat flour.
- Add the oat flour, coconut flour, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl, and gently mix with a spoon. Add in the cranberries and pistachios and gently fold into the dough.
- Turn the dough out onto the pan, and use your fingers to press the dough into the tart pan. Prick the dough with a fork 8-10 times to prevent bubbling, and bake for 14-18 minutes or until just turning a light golden color.
- Let cool completely.
- Carefully pop the shortbread out of the pan and slice into squares.
To Make the Almond Icing
- Add the coconut butter, almond extract, and Stevia (if desired) to medium sauce pan over low heat. Stir constantly until the coconut butter has melted and all the ingredients meld together, being careful not to overheat (coconut butter is prone to scorching).
- Carefully pour into a heat-safe piping bag, and pipe the icing on the shortbread squares. If you don't have a piping bag, simply spoon the icing over the cookies. As the icing cools, it hardens.
- Store shortbread in an airtight glass container to keep the bars crisp.
*For best results (i.e., drizzle-worthy icing), make a fresh batch of homemade coconut butter and measure off the amount needed.