These cranberry orange shortbread cookies are deliciously crispy. You need just a few ingredients to make these buttery slice-and-bake cookies. They are perfect for holiday baking!
I’ve shared cranberry-orange combination before in my crunchy cranberry orange biscotti recipe. Today I use this combination in my shortbread cookies.
I love making shortbread cookies. You can see 4 versions on my site; vanilla shortbread cookies, shortbread almond extract cookies, chocolate orange shortbread cookies and easy cinnamon cookies on my site.
They are all perfect for holiday baking just like today’s cranberry orange cookies.
You need only 6 simple ingredients! I make them as slice-and-bake. Making the cookie dough and giving the log shape takes less than 10 minutes!
You can prepare the dough ahead of time (you can freeze for 3 months) and bake once you need it. It takes only 14 minutes to bake these crips cookies!
Let’s see all the ingredients!
Ingredients you’ll need
You can find the exact quantities at the bottom of my post, in the recipe card.
- Cranberries– I use dried cranberries. If they are very dry, I suggest you place them in a small bowl and top with boiled water to soften them. You should do this first so while you are preparing the dough, they’ll be ready to use. Once they’re soft, blot them with a paper towel and roughly cut into pieces.
- Orange-I use fresh orange zest. You need 2 medium-sized oranges. If you like, you can make an orange glaze using the orange juice and top the cookies. I’ll mention it in the recipe card below.
- Butter-I use unsalted butter.
- Sugar-I use granulated sugar.
- Flour-I use all purpose flour.
- Almond extract-It goes very well with these cookies but if you don’t like almond extract you can use vanilla extract. I tried these cookies without an extract but something was missing. So don’t forget to use one of them. I use just a little so the extract has just a supporting flavor in these cookies instead of being the main flavor as in my almond extract cookies.
If you love almond extract and want to use it more in your recipes, you should know that it pairs well with peach, pear and strawberries as well. You can check my peach crumble bars, peach bread, pear muffins, strawberry crumble, strawberry crumble cake recipes.
Step by step instructions
First I zest the orange and roughly cut the cranberries.
Then I place the orange zest and sugar in a bowl of my stand mixer and stir with a paddle attachment. You can do the mixing step with a whisk too.
Next I add the butter and beat on medium speed in my stand mixer until the mixture is creamy with paddle attachment. If you are using a hand held mixer, you’ll need to use a medium-large bowl.
I mix in the almond extract.
Then I add the flour in 2 batches. Once almost combined, I add the cranberries and stir at low speed for just a few seconds.
I make a ball from the dough, divide in half and place each on a plastic wrap.
Next, I give a rectangular shape to each dough and cover with the plastic wrap. Then I roll them into approximately 6,5 inches (16 cm) long logs.
I prefer keeping them in the freezer for 40 minutes so they’ll firm quickly. But you can keep them 4 to 5 hours in the fridge if you are not in a hurry.
I slice the cookies into ¼ inch (1cm) thick with a sharp knife and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Then I bake cookies for 14 minutes or until the edges are lightly brown. They firm up as they cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.
You can store these orange cranberry shortbread cookies in an air container at room temperature for up to a week and in the freezer for up to a month.
Absolutely. You can keep the cookie dough logs in the fridge for up to 3 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can thaw in the fridge overnight and slice once ready to bake.
I love hearing from you! If you try this recipe or my other recipes please leave a comment and give a star rating!
Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies
- 105 grams (½ cup) granulated sugar
- 18 grams (2 tablespoons) orange zest
- 185 grams (¾ cup and 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon almond extract*
- 280 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour, dip and sweep
- 100 grams (¾ cup) dried cranberries
- Place the sugar and orange zest in a bowl of stand mixer and stir with a paddle attachment. If you are using a hand-held mixer, place them in a large bowl. You can do the mixing step with a whisk.
- Add the butter and beat on medium speed until creamy with a paddle attachment if using a stand-mixer.
- Mix in the almond extract*.
- Add the flour in 2 batches and stir almost combined.
- Stir in the cranberries at low speed for a few seconds.
- Divide the dough in half and place each on a plastic wrap. Give a rectangular shape to each dough and cover from the sides with the plastic wrap. Gently roll each dough into approximately 6.5 inches (16 cm) long logs. Keep them in the freezer for almost 40-50 minutes, or 4 to 5 hours in the fridge until they are firm enough.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F(177°C). Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- Once firm enough, take the doughs from the freezer/fridge and cut the logs into 0.4inch (1cm)thick slices. Place them on the baking sheet and bake for 14 minutes until the edges slightly change color.
- Remove the cookies from the oven. The top of the cookies will be soft once you remove them from the oven but they will firm up as they cool for 15 minutes on the baking sheet.