Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

White Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Cookies.

These incredibly soft and buttery, salty and sweet white chocolate cranberry pistachio cookies will be your new favorite. There is so much texture in every bite of these holiday cookies!

Salty Sweet White Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Cookies-- the butter and cornstarch MAKE these cookies!

These cookies are a texture lover’s paradise. Between the soft dough, crunchy pistachios, and chewy dried cranberries– I could eat these salty sweet cookies for the rest of my life and be content. Really. There is something different in each bite!

Truth is, I’ve been making these cookies for the past 2 years. I simply take my white chocolate cranberry cookies and add pistachios. The salty pistachios turn that incredible cookie into an extraordinary cookie. I had to share the recipe with you this year.

Irresistible cookie tower. ↓ ↓

White Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Cookies

The base of this cookie recipe is my ultra soft, ultra loved-by-everyone THE chocolate chip cookie. It’s a classic cookie recipe, creaming butter and sugars together to get that luxuriously creamy cookie dough. Besides all the glorious chunks of add-ins, butter is the star of the show in this recipe. Which brings me to another edition of:

Food Science // Nerd Alert 

Butter is where most cookie recipes begin and it has several jobs in both the mixing bowl and the oven. First, it keeps cookies tender. If you left butter out of a cookie recipe calling for it, you’d likely end up with a tough, dense, and flavorless cookie. Speaking of flavor, butter is where a ton of this cookie’s flavor comes from. Subbing butter with a less flavorful fat such as shortening or margarine will yield some pretty lousy, bland cookies. As cookies bake, the milk proteins inside the butter begin to brown– giving the cookies nutty, butterscotch-y notes of flavor. I love butterscotch-y.

The soft, airy centers come from– you guessed it– the butter! How butter is mixed into cookie dough affects a cookie’s texture. In my Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookie recipe, I use melted butter. Melted butter is what makes them so insanely dense and fudge-like, almost tasting (and looking!) like straight-up cookie dough. But with these cookies, I chose to cream the butter with the sugars. During this creaming process, air is incorporated into the mix which, in turn, helps leaven the cookies as they bake. The cookies rise up, the centers stay soft, and the edges slightly crisp. Cookie perfection.

In short, butter = everything.

White Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Cookies-- the secret's in the butter and the cornstarch!

White Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Cookies-- the secret's in the butter and the cornstarch!

In addition to butter, another powerhouse ingredient I use is cornstarch. If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you’re already familiar with my love of cornstarch in cookies. You see, cornstarch makes the cookie dough thicker– yes, the cookie dough actually thickens as it chills.* Thicker, more sturdy cookie dough bakes into thicker, more compact cookies. Today’s cookies are anything but frail and dainty!

I’m beginning to bore myself. Are you still reading? I’m almost done, I promise.

*Chilling! One of the most important steps in this cookie recipe. Chilling allows the cookie dough to thicken and the flavors to enhance. That nutty, butterscotch-y-ness I mentioned above? It will blow your mind if you let this cookie dough chill. The minimum is 2 hours, but I always let it chill overnight. I know, it’s such a drag to wait that long for cookies. But the results are undeniably worth it.

Everything works so wonderfully together in these cookies. Tart cranberries paired with sweet white chocolate morsels. Salty pistachios paired with a brown sugar, buttery cookie dough. Delightfully crisp edges, soft centers, and chunks in every bite. There’s a reason I make these cookies so often– they’re simply the best.

White Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Cookies-- the secret's in the butter and the cornstarch!

You’re going to love them.

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

White Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Cookies

These incredibly soft and buttery, salty and sweet white chocolate cranberry pistachio cookies will be your new favorite. There is so much texture in every bite of these holiday cookies!


  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar (I use light)
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature1
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch (aka cornflour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (135g) white chocolate morsels or chopped white chocolate
  • 3/4 cup (75g) dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup (62g) salted pistachios, shells removed


  1. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed in a large bowl until completely smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color. Beat in egg and vanilla on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt together until combined. On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be quite thick. Add the white chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and pistachios, mix on low for about 5-10 seconds until evenly disbursed. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough.
  3. Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes-- if the cookie dough chilled longer than 2 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This makes the cookie dough easier to scoop and roll. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
  4. Once chilled, the dough will be slightly crumbly, but will come together if you work the dough with your hands as you roll into individual balls. Scoop and roll balls of dough, about 1 Tablespoon of dough each, into balls. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. They will look extremely soft when you remove them from the oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. If the cookies are too puffy, try gently pressing down on them with the back of a spoon. They will slightly deflate as you let them cool. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
  5. Make ahead tip: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. Baked cookies freeze well - up to three months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well - up to three months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Room temperature egg- always a good thing when a recipe calls for room temperature or melted butter. Room temperature eggs disperse more evenly into the creamed butter/sugar mixture. Simply set our your egg when you set out the butter. Or let sit in a cup of warm water for 10 minutes.

Did you make a recipe?

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Here are my White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies— if you want to leave out the pistachios in today’s recipe, you’ll be baking these. And they’re fantastic too.

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

See more cookie recipes.

See more salty/sweet recipes.

White Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Cookies-- the secret's in the butter and the cornstarch!


  1. Pistachios and dried cranberries are such a great combination – I love the red, green and white in these cookies, so festive! And I’m sure they taste incredible! I wasn’t bored at all – I love reading baking science – but then, I’m a bit of a nerd that way! 🙂

  2. I love the combination of flavors in this cookie recipe!

  3. These would go perfect with a big mug of cocoa! Yum!

  4. I have never put pistachios in cookies before. They are an unlikely constituent, which makes these cookies even more special. They are definitely on my list of new recipes to try!

  5. Sally, your cookies are always a hit in our house! I can’t wait to make these for my boyfriend to take to work to share with his colleagues! Let’s get the cookies, I mean holiday, season started!

  6. Gosh Sally these look so delicious!!

  7. I love the combination of cranberries, pistachios and white chocolate- what a killer cookie!!

  8. These look great! No a hug fan of white chocolate but in these I think I can be!! I just made a similar cookie with dark chocolate chips!

  9. Love it when you include food science/nerd alert tips in your posts! I’ve been chilling most of my cookie dough recipes since I first read about the benefits from you! I’m sure the salty bite from the pistachios really highlights the sweetness of the cookie. Perfect for Christmas! Thank you again, Sally:)

  10. I now know what I am going to make for this year’s neighborhood cookie exchange! So festive, and they sound delish. Thanks for the recipe – I can’t wait to try it.

  11. Oh my! The sweet and salty combo in these cookies sounds divine, Sally! Yum and Pinned! I’m trying my hands at your whole wheat pizza crust on Sunday and very excited!! 🙂

  12. These look incredible! I only like pistachios in dessert. I find them a bit too much as just the nut, but when added to sweet they give that nice balance. I’ll have to pick up some shelled nuts (since who’s got the time for that) and make a batch of these soon! They’ll be a perfect way to ring in the weekend 🙂

  13. These cookies are so perfect for Christmas! They definitely will be going on my festive baking list Sally!

  14. Hi Sally I love your recipes! I needed more baking time on mine, even baked for 13 mins and cooled on the pan for 5 min but still not so golden brown and a slightly uncooked in the center. Is that normal? I chilled for 4 hrs and let sit for 20 mins.

  15. I have been making your recipes for quite some months now, and I’ve always been a huge fan of crispy everything. I’m always hesitant when I see your recipes for soft cookies and have been baking most of them twice the time. But, I must admit, now that – for once- I’ve baked them 9 minutes: THEY ARE AMAZINGLY SOFT AND NICE AND CHEWY! Still love crisp, but added these to the soft bake list!

  16. Wanted to make some unique cookies for a bake sale. These worked out perfectly and everyone loved them especially as they are different from normal chocolate chip cookies.

  17. Just made these cookies for Thanksgiving for my extremely picky family. I’ve had three people (and counting!)ask for the recipe!! The sweet from the cranberry and the saltiness (is that even a word??) from the pistachio made a perfect flavor and after all who isn’t a sucker for something sweet n salty! Also, this cookie base is so versatile I plan on using it with every additive I can think of. Thanks for posting the perfect cookie recipe Sally!!!!

  18. Hi Sally! Looking forward to making these with my mom and sisters this weekend for our annual Christmas cookie baking day! (Hopefully) quick question about the pistachios – did you measure the 1/2 cup before or after they were shelled? Also from a science geek, love the food science! Hopefully this recipe will make me a better baker! I’m really, really, terrible at baking…

    • i love that you’re a science geek. you can totally make these cookies, i know you can Sarah. And I measure the pistachios after being shelled.

  19. A question about butter. I just got your cookbook from Amazon and was going to try the White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Blondies. This recipe and several others call for salted butter. I’ve never used salted butter in baking and don’t really want to stock it separately. Can I just substitute unsalted butter? Should I add a little salt to the recipe?

  20. Hello

    The recipe looks amazing. I will be definitely making those. Just one question though. Am I really suppose to put cookie dough balls in the oven, or flatten them first?

  21. Sally,
    I made these last night and they were all gone by noon today.
    They are out of this world good. Everyone was asking for the recie.
    Thank you for a great cookie.

  22. Hi there Sally,
    Thank you for this recipe!..well I folowed your recipe and insturctions “to a T”, it was perfect except I noticed that they were so to touch! I wonder why?
    Wish you can help.
    Thank you again. 🙂

  23. Once again, your recipes DO NOT disappoint! I made these babies for a class party and my students were raving!

    I’m so glad I found your blog. Looking forward to you next baking 101 post! 

  24. Hey Sally, could I use the browned butter method for this recipe? Would it affect the taste or baking in this cookie? looking for some nerd advice 😀

  25. these were the bomb somehow i got almost 4 dozen using i tbsp each great two bite cookie

  26. Hey Sally, those cookies are looking great and will be tried soon!
    I have some cake flour, is it possible to use it in this recipe? if doing so, should I give up the cornstarch or add it regardless?
    Thank you so much, i’m pretty sure those cookies are gonna make some Tel-Avivians a very happy bunch 🙂

  27. Hi Sally!  I’ve been wanting to make a cranberry/white chocolate cookie for awhile now, but never thought to add pistachios, that’s brilliant!  I can’t wait to make these, I know they will be amazing.  Do you use use sweetened or unsweetened dried cranberries?  At my grocery store I only saw sweetened ones.

  28. I finally made these cookies last night for my boyfriend and he loved them. Thank you Sally for the great recipes.

  29. I’m allergic to corn and I generally use another starch (arrowroot, tapioca, etc) in it’s place. I haven’t tried these subs with cookies. Do you think they would work?

  30. I bought unsalted pistachios. Do I need to add any salt? If so, how much?

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