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Cranberry Orange Cookies

cranberry orange cookies on platter

Tis the season for all things jolly! While I love peppermint and gingerbread flavored everything, I love these Cranberry Orange Cookies! They are an unexpected but delicious flavor combination that works perfectly for Christmas.

cranberry orange cookies on platter

A Few Pointers Before We Begin

While I make cookies all the time, I realize some of you might not. So if you are a novice cookie baker, keep reading! I have a few basic tips and tricks before we begin:

  • Use Room Temperature Butter. We will use the creaming method to make these cookies which happens to be the most common way. All that means is we will mix the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add in an egg and vanilla and continue to beat it well until its a pale yellow color.
  • Use a Good Zester for the Orange. I don’t have an amount of zest listed in the recipe card, simply just the zest from one navel orange. If you’re using the zester off a box grater, you won’t get very much zest. Consider using a microplane zester. You will yield so much more zest using it, thus flavoring your cookie much stronger. Alternately, if you don’t have a microplane, try using more oranges to get enough zest for that delicious fresh orange flavor.
  • Use Fresh Cranberries. Tis the season to find lots of fresh cranberries at your local grocery store! Put them to good use by chopping them up and adding them into these cookies for a tart and colorful punch. While craisins are a good alternative, they aren’t quite the same. Neither are frozen! Do your best to use fresh!
cranberry orange cookies on platter

How to Make Orange Cranberry Cookies

This is a super simple recipe with lots of common pantry ingredients, with the exception of those cranberries and maybe a navel orange or two! Here’s how to make them:

Cream the Butter and Sugar

Start by prepping some light colored baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray, a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream room temperature butter with granulated sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla, egg, orange zest and juice. Scrape sides and mix again.

Stir in the Dry Ingredients

Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of the bowl and mix again briefly.

Fold in the Fresh Cranberries

Once the cookie dough has formed, fold in the roughly chopped fresh cranberries. Stir the dough until they are uniformly mixed in.

Do I Have to Use Fresh Cranberries?

No, you absolutely don’t have to use fresh cranberries, though I’d highly recommend using them because they are in season during these winter months, plus they have that beautiful tart flavor that pairs so well with the orange zest and juice. If you’d like to substitute some craisins, feel free to chop those smaller to get 1/2 cup and stir those in by hand.

cranberry orange cookies on platter

Roll in Powdered Sugar and Bake

Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a 2 teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar.

Bake

Place on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Why Use Light Colored Baking Sheets

I love a soft cookie and have gotten pretty darn good at baking them. Using a lighter, silver colored baking sheet is key! They keep your cookies baking evenly and won’t darken or crisp up the bottoms of your cookies too prematurely like darker teflon pans would. I own five (yes 5!) of these USA pans Cookie Sheets that are made of aluminized steel so they conduct their heat gently and evenly and keep the cookies soft as they bake.

cranberry orange cookie

Storing Cookies

While any cookies are best fresh out of the oven, it might not be realistic to expect you to eat the full batch of these Orange Cranberry Cookies. SO! Store any leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. 3 days may be pushing it, but a little 5 second zap in the microwave can breathe new life back into them.

How to Freeze Cookies

If you’d like to store these for months, place any leftover baked cookies into a freezer safe airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. To enjoy, simply defrost at room temperature OR grab one or two and microwave them for 10 seconds or so until gently warmed through.

cranberry orange cookies on counter

Other Holiday Treats You Will Love:

While I love these cookies, here are some other options that are perfect for Christmas.

cranberry orange cookies on counter
cranberry orange cookies on platter

Cranberry Orange Cookies

Cranberry Orange Cookies are simple to make and have the perfect amount of chewy-yet-tangy goodness. Perfect for Holiday baking!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 small cookies

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 whole egg
  • orange zest of 1 navel orange
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease light colored baking sheets with non stick cooking spray and set aside.In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla, egg, orange zest and juice.
  • Scrape sides and mix again. Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of the bowl and mix again briefly. Stir in chopped cranberries.
  • Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a 2 teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar.
  • Place on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.
Keyword cookie recipe, cranberry, cranberry orange, orange
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2 Comments

  • Linda B
    December 24, 2021 at 6:08 pm

    5 stars
    Just made these and OMG, they are so good. Just the right amount of sweetness and so soft. Definitely will be making again.

    Reply
    • Claudia Cash
      January 18, 2022 at 7:39 am

      Yay! We’re so glad you liked them. They’re a fave of ours too.

      Reply

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