Cranberry Orange Cookies

These are one of the favorites on my holiday cookie trays every year. They are tender and sweet and just a bit tart. With orange juice and zest, fresh cranberries and walnuts in the dough and orange juice and zest in the glaze you better believe they are full of flavor. This one is a keeper and makes an appearance every Christmas (and sometimes at other times throughout the year)!


I love to keep a bag of cranberries in the freezer at all times so this is a great time of year to stock up, when they are still in season and plentiful in the grocer’s case. A note on the cranberries though, you want to make sure you roughly chop them before adding them to the batter as they will explode leaving crater-like holes in your finished cookies otherwise! If you are using frozen cranberries there is no need to thaw them before adding them, as long as you are able to chop them that way. I have never tried dried cranberries in these. I’m sure they would be good but I think some of the moistness would be lost.

I always squeeze fresh orange juice for the dough and since you need a fresh orange for the zest, why not? It’s not like it takes an awful lot of work to squeeze 5 tablespoons of orange juice. I like to cut the orange into half wedges and squeeze the juice with my lemon juicer.

Try this cookie! Your friends and family will thank you! 🙂


Cranberry Orange Cookies

Ingredients for the Dough:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. grated orange zest
  • 2 tbsp. fresh orange juice
  • ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. fine salt
  • 2 cups chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (toasted if desired)

Ingredients for the Glaze:

  • ½ tsp. grated orange zest
  • 3 tbsp. fresh orange juice
  • 1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F with rack in the center position
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy
  • Beat in the egg until well blended and scrape down the bowl
  • Beat in 1 tsp. orange zest, 2 tbsp. orange juice and ½ tsp. vanilla and then scrape down the bowl again
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt
  • Gradually mix the flour mixture into the sugar mixture until just combines
  • Mix in the cranberries and walnuts until evenly distributed


  • Using a cookie scoop, drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets about 2 inches apart
These are spaced so close together because I froze most of them like this before transferring to ziplocks then baking from frozen when I needed them fresh!

These are spaced so close together because I froze most of them like this before transferring to ziplocks then baking from frozen when I needed them fresh!


  • Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the edges are just golden brown
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool on sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool
  • While the cookies cool, mix together the remaining orange juice, zest and confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl until smooth
  • Drizzle over the cooled cookies using a spoon, piping bag or ziplock with one corner snipped
  • Allow to stand until set and then store in an airtight container



6 responses to “Cranberry Orange Cookies

      • It’s a dangerous place here right now with leftover birthday cake, homemade caramels, chocolate covered pretzels, and some type of chocolate covered crackers. Someone needs to come in and put them out of reach, but I’m not sure I trust anyone enough to do that for me. They all know I can’t chase them down right now.

  1. Pingback: Holiday Cookie Trays 2013 | therapy bread·

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