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Orange Cranberry Cookies (Perfect Holiday Cookies)

I don’t know about you but I’m crazy about the combination of orange and cranberry. If you love the mergence of those two flavors–the tartness of cranberries and the sweetness of an orange cookie, you’ve come to the right place.

This is an easy recipe, perfect for the holidays or any time of year.

Baking with Frozen Cranberries

If you read my Easy Cranberry Breakfast Cake post, you know that I marveled in the revelation that baking with frozen cranberries is not only “a thing,” it’s a great thing!

I tweaked that recipe to create these cookies. And can I just say. . .the outcome was delicious!

This flavor combination is great year ’round but it’s particularly lovely during the holidays. Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without Orange Cranberry sweet treats!

Orange Cranberry Cookies from Out of the Box Baking.com

By now you’re probably wonder what you’re going to need to make these light, fluffy cookies. They require the simplest of ingredients. No doubt you have most of these things on hand right now!

You will find a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this post but here’s a quick peek at what you’ll need to make these sweet and tangy cookies.

  • salted butter
  • granulated sugar
  • large egg
  • orange extract
  • almond extract
  • all purpose flour
  • baking soda
  • frozen cranberries
  • *fresh orange zest (optional)

How to Make Orange Cranberry Cookies

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prepare your cookie sheets with parchment paper. This recipe makes 32 cookies. I alternated two baking sheets.

In a large bowl, cream your room temperature butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar and whip until fully incorporated.

Orange Cranberry Cookies from Out of the Box Baking.com

Add the large egg and both extracts and continue to mix until soft and light in color.

Orange Cranberry Cookies from Out of the Box Baking.com

If you’re adding orange zest (which I didn’t have on hand) you’ll want to do that now.

In a separate bowl combine flour and baking soda. (If you’re using unsalted butter you might want to add a half teaspoon of salt at this point).

Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients until incorporated but don’t over mix.

Orange Cranberry Cookies from Out of the Box Baking.com

It’s time to add your frozen berries! You’ll need a cup and a half. Add them to the batter. You can fold them in by hand if you like but this is a firm batter, easier to manage with a stand mixer with paddle attachment.

Orange Cranberry Cookies from Out of the Box Baking.com

Using a cookie scoop, place cookie dough balls on your prepared baking sheet.

Orange Cranberry Cookies from Out of the Box Baking.com

Place in preheated 375 degree oven and bake for 13 – 14 minute or until golden brown.

Orange Cranberry Cookies from Out of the Box Baking.com

Remove tray from oven and place on wire rack to cool for several minutes. Using a thin spatula, lift the cooled cookies onto their own wire rack.

Store in an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap. These do not require refrigeration. They will stay good for 3 – 4 days.

What to Expect from these Orange Cranberry Cookies

Orange Cranberry Cookies from Out of the Box Baking.com

I hardly know where to begin! First of all, these are light, fluffy cookies but the bottoms are crisp and crunchy. They’re the perfect blend of tart and sweet. In short, they’re a conundrum of textures and flavors.

Orange Cranberry Cookies from Out of the Box Baking.com

Oh, but what a lovely conundrum! You’re going to want to eat these for breakfast. Then maybe again at lunch. Then, for sure, in the afternoon with a cup of hot tea. Then, of course, as dessert after dinner. These are great for the holiday season or any time of year.

With that in mind, you might want to double the batch especially if you plan on adding these to your Christmas cookie tray. This recipe makes 32 but you might need more!

Variations on this Orange Cranberry Cookie

Baking with frozen fruit is so fun! Now that I see how easy it is, I’m game to try cookies with the following berries:

Frozen Blueberries: I would use a lemon extract and/or lemon peel for this combination.

Frozen Raspberries: Orange or lemon would work in this flavor profile. Or, you could skip the citrus and just use almond extract with frozen raspberries.

Frozen Blackberries: Lemon Blackberry, anyone? This flavor profile is a fan favorite!

Frozen Cherries: Why not add some cocoa powder to the recipe (cutting back on the flour by a few tablespoons) for a chocolate cherry cookie!

Diced Frozen Strawberries: Perfect in a chocolate cookie or a lemon based cookie.

White chocolate chips: Toss in a cup of white chocolate chips before baking. I think this would add another delicious flavor to the mix.

Orange glaze: Mix a bit of fresh orange juice with powdered sugar and add a 1/4 teaspoon almond extract. Drizzle over the cookies and allow to dry. (You can follow the glaze directions found in my Poppy Seed Cake with Orange Glaze recipe.

Questions People are Asking about Orange Cranberry Cookies:

Orange Cranberry Cookies from Out of the Box Baking.com

Can I bake with fresh cranberries?

Absolutely! They will bake up just fine. I used fresh cranberries in my Cranberry Hummingbird cake and thought the end result was lovely!

Can I use dehydrated cranberries (Craisins)?

Yes, but the overall flavor and texture will definitely be different. Dehydrated cranberries are sweeter, for sure, but they lack the tart “bite” that you find in fresh or frozen cranberries. I used Craisins in my Oatmeal cookies and also in my Festive Holiday Fruitcake. For that matter, I also used them in my Holiday Muffins!

Could I add chopped cranberries?

You could, but have you ever tried to chop a frozen cranberry? They roll around the waxed paper, those elusive little buggers, and refuse to cooperate! I suggest using them whole. If you really want to use smaller bits try pulsing them in your food processor.

Can I add brown sugar to this recipe?

Sure. If you want a richer taste substitute half of the granulated sugar with light brown.

Is this a chewy cookie?

The base is crisp and chewy but the rest of the cookie is light and fluffy like a tea cake.

What other Holiday Cookies do you recommend?

I’m crazy about holiday cookies. I’ve made so many over the years. In fact, I do a holiday tray every year. (My daughter and I often bake holiday cookies to sell to raise money for various fundraisers.) Some of my favorite can be found in my Easy Cookie Exchange Recipes post. Some of my favorites include my Double Mint Chocolate Cookies and my Cut-Out Sugar Cookies (which are perfect for holiday decorations)

That’s it for this post, friends! You can peruse my blog for more holiday baking ideas. No matter what you’re in the mood for you’ll likely find it here!

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Orange Cranberry Cookies

Orange Cranberry Cookies

Yield: 32
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 24 minutes

I don't know about you but I'm crazy about the combination of orange and cranberry. If you love the mergence of those two flavors--the tartness of cranberries and the sweetness of an orange cookie, you've come to the right place. This is an easy recipe, perfect for the holidays or any time of year.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen cranberries
  • *fresh orange zest (optional)

Instructions

    Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
    Prepare your cookie sheets with parchment paper. This recipe makes 32 cookies. I alternated two baking sheets.
    Cream your room temperature butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar and whip until fully incorporated.
    Add the large egg and both extracts and continue to mix until soft and light in color.
    If you're adding orange zest (which I didn't have on hand) you'll want to do that now.
    In a separate small bowl combine flour and baking soda. (If you're using unsalted butter you might want to add a half teaspoon of salt at this point).
    Mix until incorporated but don't over mix.
    It's time to add your frozen berries! You'll need a cup and a half. Add them to the batter. You can fold them in by hand if you like but this is a firm batter, easier to manage with a stand mixer with paddle attachment.
    Using a cookie scoop, place balls of dough on your baking sheet.
    Place in preheated 375 degree oven and bake for 13 - 14 minute or until golden brown.
    Remove tray from oven and place on wire rack to cool for several minutes. Using a thin spatula, lift the cooled cookies onto their own wire rack.
    Store in an airtight container. These do not require refrigeration. They will stay good for 3 - 4 days.

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