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Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

These cranberry orange shortbread cookies are so rich and buttery, with the most delicious combination of flavors. They’re the perfect holiday cookie to share with friends and family this Christmas!

cranberry orange cookies on white plate
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Orange Cranberry Christmas Cookies

I love to bake all types of cookie recipes during the holiday season. These cranberry shortbread cookies have a great Christmas flavor and are so tender and delicious! I also love to make ginger molasses cookies, spritz cookies and white chocolate cranberry cookies.

I’m so excited to share these adorable and delicious cranberry orange shortbread cookies with you today! They’re crisp with a buttery texture, studded with dried cranberries, and have the perfect hint of orange citrus flavoring. They take the traditional melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies up a notch!

These are the ultimate Christmas cookies and are a fun addition to any cookie exchange or Christmas dessert board. They also make a great gift for friendly, family and neighbors!

cranberry orange shortbread cookie dough log

How to Make Cranberry Orange Shortbread

Scroll down for the printable recipe below.

  1. Make the dough. Beat butter and powdered sugar together in a large bowl until fluffy. Add orange zest, vanilla and orange extract and mix until combined. Then add the flour, salt and dried cranberries and stir to form a thick dough.
  2. Shape and chill. Form dough into a log shape that’s about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap dough in parchment paper or plastic wrap and freeze for 1 hour.
  3. Bake in oven. Near the end of chilling time, preheat oven to 325°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut cookie dough into 1/4 inch slices and place 1/4 inch apart baking sheet. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until light golden brown around the edges.

Chocolate Dipped

Dipping them in white chocolate is optional, but it adds a sweet and creamy taste and makes these cookies extra fancy. Use melted white chocolate wafers or almond bark and dip about half of each cookie into the chocolate. Then let cool on a baking sheet. You could even drizzle them with white chocolate, too!

cranberry orange shortbread cookies on plate

Make Ahead & Storing

You can prepare the dough in advance, wrap it in plastic wrap and then store the dough in the fridge for up to 1 week. Then just slice and bake when ready.

Once baked, the cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container or bag for up to 1 week. These also freeze really well and will keep in the freezer for about 3 months.

Great for Gifting!

One great thing about these cookies is that they are pretty sturdy, so they would be perfect for shipping to friends or family far away. They’re also perfect for neighbor gifts, cookie trays, and holiday parties!

stack of cranberry orange cookies

5 star review

“Thank you for this recipe!!! It came out perfectly. The orange zest was right there, not fading in the background. I didn’t change a thing! I have to say this will be the #1 pick for Christmas! All the ingredients were right on hand.”

– Trish

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cranberry orange shortbread cookies on plate

Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

5 from 9 votes
Author: Jamielyn Nye
These cranberry orange shortbread cookies are so rich and buttery, with the most delicious combination of flavors. They're the perfect cookie to share with friends and family this holiday season!
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Freeze: 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 24

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup butter , at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • zest of one orange
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • white chocolate candy melts or white almond bark , optional

Instructions

  • In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add the orange zest, vanilla and orange extract, and mix until combined. Add the flour, salt and cranberries. Mix to form a thick dough.
    shortbread cookie dough with craisins
  • Shape the dough into a log that is approximately 2 inches in diameter. Wrap in parchment or plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
    cranberry orange shortbread cookie dough log wrapped in plastic
  • Near the end of the chilling time, preheat the oven to 325°F and line a baking sheet with parchment or silicone. Slice the cookie dough into 1/4 inch slices, and place 1/4 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
    cranberry orange shortbread cookies on baking sheet
  • Bake 18-20 minutes, or until light golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
    cranberry orange shortbread cookies on plate
  • If desired, melt the candy melts according to the package directions. Dip each cookie into the candy melts and place on a parchment lined baking sheet to cool.
    stack of cranberry orange cookies

Notes

Storage: Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months. 
Make ahead: This dough can be made up to a week in advance. Simply wrap the log in the wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Nutrition

Calories: 164kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 97mg | Potassium: 31mg | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 235IU | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.5mg

Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

Recipe contributed by Alicia from The Baker Upstairs.

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