Nine round cranberry orange cookies with a white glaze on them. They are on a wooden board with ten orange slices, rosemary and dried cranberries. The wooden board is on a holiday tea towel. There are orange halves and whole cranberries in the background. There is a plate with fresh rosemary in the upper right corner. There is a gold measuring cup with dried cranberries on the right side.

Simple Little Cranberry Orange Cookies

5.0 from 2 votes

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Christmas cookies have been a tradition in my family for as long as I can remember, so they hold a special place in my heart. When I was growing up, we would be in the kitchen for days before Christmas, baking all kinds of Christmas cookies with my mom. We would spend all day on Christmas Eve driving around to everyone’s house that we knew, dropping off cookies and wishing them a happy holiday!

My mom made so many different cookies at Christmas and there was a little orange cookie that was always my favorite. I decided to recreate it here and also add cranberries since I’ve been on a cranberry orange kick lately, as evidenced by my tree and my scones.

I made these using a tablespoon to measure and they are the perfect little size. Literally two delicious bites!

The consistency of this dough would lend itself well to being a cut-out cookie if you wanted to try that! The chilling step is really important, no matter what shape you want to make them. It helps to keep the dough from being sticky and prevents spreading while baking. If you wanted to make this dough into shapes, rather than spheres, simply roll it out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with your favorite cutters, Take the scrap dough, make it into a ball, roll it again and repeat! The cook time will likely be closer to 11 minutes instead of 15 in this case.

If you’re making these for the holidays, have some fun with your presentation! I put some parchment on one of my wooden serving boards and arranged some of the cookies with sliced oranges, fresh rosemary and some scattered dried cranberries.

As seen on instagram here.

Update: I made these cookies for Valentine’s Day and used heart-shaped cookie cutters. Check out this post for instructions to make these into cut-out cookies.

Simple Cranberry Orange Two-Bite Christmas Cookies

Recipe by Sarah
5.0 from 2 votes
Course: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

10

servings
Prep time

40

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes
Calories

288

kcal
Chilling time

1

hour 
Total time

1

hour 

55

minutes

These simple little cookies will be your new favorite! The dried cranberries and orange zest in the dough make them so flavorful and the freshly squeezed orange juice glaze on top adds a bit of sweetness that you won’t be able to resist!

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Ingredients

  • Cookies:
  • 2 c all purpose flour

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt – see note

  • 2 tsp orange zest – see note

  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, softened

  • 1/2 c granulated sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 whole egg at room temperature

  • 1/2 c roughly chopped dried cranberries – see note

  • Other:
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour for your work surface/hands

  • Glaze:
  • 1 c powdered (confectioners) sugar

  • 1 oz freshly squeezed orange juice

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter – melted

Directions

  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine flour (I like to weigh it to 240 g on a kitchen scale), baking powder and salt, mix with a whisk.
  • Using a microplane, zest one orange into your dry ingredients and then mix with a whisk.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl if you want to use a hand mixer instead), add softened butter and granulated sugar. Cream these together with the paddle attachment for several minutes until they are well combined.
  • Add egg and vanilla extract and mix until smooth, then slowly add the dry ingredients, one large spoonful at a time with the mixer on low. Once the dry ingredients are incorporated, you can change the speed to medium and mix for another two minutes.
  • Add dried cranberries and mix on low just until the cranberries are evenly distributed.
  • Your dough should not be particularly sticky, so flour a work surface with about 1 tbsp of all purpose flour and form your dough into a circle and then flatten it into a disc. Wrap your disc and refrigerate it for an hour. I actually put my disc on the table outside my kitchen door if I’m making these in the winter. It’s important to chill the dough before forming your cookies, or they will end up spreading while baking and won’t maintain their spherical shape.Cranberry orange cookie dough shaped like a disc on floured wooden board.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and place your rack in the center position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Form your dough into 20 roughly equal sized balls. I used a tablespoon and pressed it into my dough disc and this worked out perfectly for 20 cookies. Space the balls evenly out on the baking sheet, I had five rows of four. If you’d prefer to use cookie cutters for this dough, check out this post for instructions.Twenty cranberry orange dough balls ready to be baked into cookies, on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet with a holiday tea towel in the background.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees F. The finished cookies should be slightly golden, with a golden brown bottom and you will be able to see some cracks forming on the top surface.
  • While the cookies bake, prepare your glaze,
  • In a small mixing bowl, add powdered sugar, orange juice and melted butter. Stir well until smooth and combined. If your powdered sugar isn’t super fresh, humidity can cause it to have some harder chunks of sugar. If this is the case, use a sifter first so that your glaze will end up smooth. Your glaze should look like this: Silver mixing bowl with a small white spatula and freshly squeezed orange juice glaze. There is an empty gold measuring cup and an empty glass measuring cup and a rattan placement.
  • Once cookies have cooled off (about 15 minutes or so), you can glaze them. I poured the glaze on, but dipping them would be a good idea too! Nine cranberry orange cookies with a white glaze on them, on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • If serving these right away, arrange them on a platter with sliced oranges if you want to! You can also store them in an airtight container for several days.

Equipment

Recipe Video

Notes

  • I like to use pink Himalayan sea salt for baking and I keep in on hand, but regular iodized salt works for this too, You don’t need to buy special salt.
  • I zested one orange for this and it seemed to be about 2-3 tsp of orange zest. Zesting one orange should be fine and I wouldn’t worry about the actual measurement.
  • I measured out 1/2 cup of dried cranberries and then put them on a cutting board and gave them a rough chop. I wanted them to be in smaller pieces. Using a food processor would likely make them stick together.
  • I used freshly squeezed oj from the orange that I had zested, I measured out an ounce and I squeezed half of the orange.

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