These Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies combine two of the holiday’s most delicious flavors in one easy-to-make slice-and-bake cookie recipe! Nobody will be able to resist these sweet and tangy melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies this year.
Cranberry cookies with orange zest are so perfect for the holidays! These flavors are wonderful any time between Thanksgiving and Christmas and continue to be amazing all year long.
Oatmeal Cranberry Walnut Cookies are another delicious way to enjoy the festive flavor notes of oranges and cranberries. Or you might want to try cranberry orange muffins or cranberry orange scones instead!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Easy Slice and Bake Cookie Recipe: I love recipes like this one! Simply mix up the cookie dough and roll it into a log. When you’re ready to bake, use a knife to slice off disks of dough and bake them. It’s almost as easy as buying a roll of cookie dough from the store, but it’s a thousand times more delicious. If you like this method, be sure to try my checkerboard cookies and cinnamon roll cookies next.
- A Fresh Holiday Offering: Christmas cookie platters are often full of chocolate and caramel and other decadent but heavy treats. These shortbread cookies are different than the rest, with a light, bright flavor and buttery texture.
- They Make Wonderful Gifts: Shortbread cookies are sturdy and can be stored for longer than softer cookies, which makes them perfect for gifting. Wrap these up in some pretty packaging, or pack them up to ship to out-of-town friends and family.
Complete list of ingredients with quantities and instructions is located in the recipe card below
- Flour: All-purpose flour is perfect here. It’s always best to measure your flour using the scoop and level method so that you aren’t adding too much to your recipe.
- Butter: A must for shortbread, these cookies are buttery and crisp due to the amount of unsalted butter in the recipe.
- Powdered Sugar: Using powdered sugar rather than granulated sugar in shortbread cookies gives them a softer, fluffier texture.
- Vanilla Extract: Vanilla has the ability to enhance and elevate all of the other flavors in the cookie dough.
- Orange Zest: Use a microplate to remove only the orange outer zest of a fresh orange. Be sure to wash the fruit first to remove any dirt or wax that might be there.
- Dried Cranberries: Chop them into smaller pieces before adding them to the dough. This way every single bite of cookie will have plenty of cranberry flavor.
- Coarse Sugar: This adds a fun bit of sparkle and crunch to the cookies!
How To Make Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies
- Mix the Wet Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Then add the vanilla extract and orange zest, and beat again.
- Add Flour: Mix in the flour gradually. I usually add it in 3 smaller additions, mixing well after each.
- Then the Cranberries: Fold the dried cranberries into the shortbread cookie dough.
- Chill the Dough: Divide the dough into two equal portions, then roll each portion into a 2-inch diameter cylinder. Place the coarse sugar on a plate or in a shallow bowl and roll the dough logs in the sugar to coat the outside. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Get Ready: When the dough is finished chilling, Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C), or 160°C if using a fan oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
- Slice: Slice the cookies into ½-inch thick slices, and place cut-side down on the prepared baking sheets. You should get about 15 cookies per dough log.
- And Bake: Sprinkle with remaining coarse sugar, then bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden and no longer glossy on top.
- Make sure that your butter is softened to room temperature. It’s best to let this happen naturally, as microwaving butter could cause it to melt or become too soft.
- Cream the butter and sugar together very well. You want the sugar to dissolve completely into the butter.
- Avoid Overmixing: If you overmix the dough, your cookies will become hard and tough. Once you add the flour, mix only until just combined.
- Be sure to chill: It’s important that the dough is chilled in a log before you try to bake with it. If you skip this step, the cookies will spread too much in the oven.
You can store these cranberry orange shortbread cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
The cookies can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Simply thaw them at room temperature before serving.
More Delicious and Easy Holiday Cookie Recipes!
- Snowman Sugar Cookies
- Christmas Kitchen Sink Cookies
- Chocolate Sugar Cookies
- Gumdrop Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies
I do not recommend it! You need to chill the dough for about 2 hours before baking it, or your shortbread cookies will spread all over the pan.
Yes, you can! Make the dough and keep it in the logs in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before baking the cookies.
If you really want to get a head start on your holiday baking, you can freeze the dough for up to 3 months! When you want to bake cranberry orange cookies, let the dough thaw for a few hours in the refrigerator before baking.
Easy slice-and-bake Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies will be a delicious addition to your holiday baking list! Be sure to Pin this recipe so you can find it again year after year.