Cranberry Orange Cookies

Cranberry Orange Cookies

Every year I try to make one “different” cookie recipe around the holidays. I’m not saying that I go for something extreme, like chocolate chip bacon cookies, but I do like to have one thing on the Christmas cookie plate that isn’t just chocolate chip oatmeal, gingerbread, shortbread or a sprinkle-laden butter cookie. Bright with orange zest and packed with chewy dried cranberries, these cookies fit the bill perfectly. They’re delicious.

The cookies themselves are light, with an excellent texture, and are very buttery tasting. They get crisp at the edges after baking, but are left with a soft chew by the next day. The orange zest is not overwhelming and it gives the cookies a light flavor that makes you reach for another straight away. I think that cranberries are a good match for the orange, but dried blueberries would probably also work out very well if you want something different. And, of course, you can always toss in either white or dark chocolate chips.

Don’t overbake these cookies. They should only be ever so slightly colored at the edges when they are done baking. Leave them to set up on the baking sheet for a few minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool, or you could end up with cookie crumbs, instead of whole cookies.

Cranberry Orange Cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1 large egg
zest of one large orange (about 1 tbsp)
3/4 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350F and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar, beating with an electric mixer until light. Beat in egg and orange zest. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add in the flour mixture, stirring only until just combined. Stir in the cranberries.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls (about 1 1/4-inch balls) onto prepared cookie sheets and bake for 9-12 minutes, until edges are very lightly browned. Cool for 3-4 minutes on baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 4 dozen.

By the way – did you know that the 2006 Food Blog Awards are going on right now? It’s a low pressure event, but it’s nice to go and nominate your favorite bloggers. I’m not thrilled with the way that they have judges pick from all the nominated blogs to see who we will vote on, but hey – that’s their system. And the idea behind the event, recognizing everyone’s hard work and decication of every reader (who hopefully finds lots of tasty recipes), is definitely agood one.


  1. Heh. My dad just sent me a recipe for chocolate-cranberry-orange cookies. (I’ll post the recipe (to my blog) as soon as I get a chance to use it.)

  2. Scott at Real Epicurean

    Cranberry and orange work really well together. It’s an alternative on xmas flavours which works just as well as spices.

  3. Very nice. Thanks for an adventurous alternative cookie option. I’m looking forward to trying it.

    - Chubbypanda

  4. I made these today and they were fantastic! I formed 1-1/4″ balls and baked them just until the edges were brown (10 minutes). They were a perfect addition to my usual holiday cookie collection. Thank you for posting the recipe. I’ve tried several of your recipes and they’ve all been wonderful

  5. These sound delicious! I’ll get my partner to make them for me, he likes baking.

  6. My new cookie recipe was based on what I had in the cupboard. Same motivation–to have something different on the cookie plate (along with chocolate chip cookies and Mexican wedding cookies).

    So I made something in the same neighborhood as yours: Oatmeal Pistachio Cranberry Cookies. They turned out really good–a little bit cakey. They were good night before last when I made them, but better last night. The flavors kind of melded and bloomed (I had let them cool, and then put them in a ziplock bag for overnight storage). I thought of these as being an “adult-type” cookie, but the kids liked them too. I’ll definitely make them again.

    Oatmeal Pistachio Cranberry Cookies

    3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
    3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
    1/4 cup white sugar
    1 egg
    1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 teaspoons orange zest (microplaned)

    1-1/4 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
    5-3/4 ounces (1-1/4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon five-spice powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon kosher salt

    2/3 cup chopped pistachios
    1/2 cup dried cranberries

    1/2 cup additional oatmeal

    Basic cookie stuff: cream the butter and the sugars, add the egg and mix in well, then the vanilla and orange zest.

    Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and add to the butter-sugar in thirds.

    Fold in the nuts and cranberries. Make cookies about a rounded tablespoon. Roll each cookie in dry oatmeal. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

    Cool completely on rack. Ages well.

  7. Made these (orange cranberry cookies)this morning with a slight twist — no cranberries on hand, so added vanilla and chocolate chips.

    Tasted like orange Droste cookies. Awesome combo. Baked up super nice too. Great cookie base.

  8. These are fantastic. I made a double batch with 1 cup of dried cranberries and 1 cup of white chips. I have the dough refrigerated to bake next week, but I thought I would do a “test” cookie sheet to see what they were like. I think they may be my new favorites!

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  10. I did the same as Jen, adding white chocolate chips and they turned out great!

  11. are these cookies cakey? also, can i use fresh cranberries

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