Cranberry Orange Cookies

Cranberry and orange is a blissful combination. These light-as-a-feather sugar-type cookies have just a hint of orange zest, crispy, buttery edges, and bits of chopped sweet cranberries throughout.   To make them even more decadent and unusual, they are studded with rich macadamia nuts that I like to roast in a dry skillet before incorporating into the cookie dough.  These are especially beautiful to give as a gift at Christmas in a pretty cookie tin.  The cookies sparkle from being rolled in orange sugar and the sweet aroma or scented orange wafts up when the cookie tin is opened.  An explosion of diverse tastes combined beautifully into one perfect hand-held cookie.  And the pièce de résistance- they are extremely easy to make and practically foolproof!  Everyone will be impressed with these exquisite cookies and they would never guess how easy they are to make!   I do hope you will give them a try.

Cranberry Orange Cookies
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: Desserts
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 dozen
  • Orange Sugar:
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange peel
  • Cookie:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter (1½ sticks) room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped macadamia nuts*
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange peel
  • *To intensify the nut flavor, roast them in a dry skillet on the stove until lightly browned and aromatic.
  1. Heat Oven to 350 degrees. Combine all orange sugar ingredients, stir until well mixed and set aside.
  2. Combine 1 cup sugar, butter, and egg in a large bowl and meat at medium speed until creamy. Combine flour, baking powder and soda in a separate bowl, mix well and then add to the butter mixture. Beat only until combined. Add nuts, cranberries, and orange peel and beat until combined. Do not over beat dough or cookies will be tough.
  3. Shape dough into 1 inch balls;; roll balls in orange sugar. Place 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten with bottom of glass to 1½ inch circles.
  4. Bake for 8 to 11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Do not overbake.
  5. Remove from sheets after 1 minute and continue to cool on cooling racks.
  6. Adapted from Land O Lakes Best Loved Recipes
  7. Note: To prevent the cranberries from sticking to the knife when chopping, spray the blade of the knife with non-stick cooking spray.


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