These easy cranberry orange shortbread cookies are perfect for your Christmas cookie exchange!
You’ll love the delicious flavor combo in these cranberry orange shortbread cookies!
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Cookies are one of the easiest holiday desserts to serve, because they are so low-fuss.
It’s simple to make them ahead of time, you don’t require a lot of cutlery or serveware for them, and they can easily be packaged up and given as gifts.
Cranberry desserts are among my favorites, because the sweet and tart combination keeps the finished product from being too cloyingly sweet.
Plus, cranberries are naturally so pretty! It’s one reason why I love festive cranberry pie at Christmas time, and why these cranberry orange shortbread cookies are sure to be a family favorite in your home!
Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies
But a more recent flavor I discovered pairs well with cranberry is almond! That’s why I chose to add a hint of almond extract to this recipe, as opposed to vanilla extract.
I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention that orange and chocolate go together quite well, as evidenced by this delightful chocolate orange cake!
While some people roll their shortbread dough into a log and chill it that way, then slice and bake, I prefer to simply scoop the dough into rounds. But you can choose the method you prefer!
You’ll also love my Walker’s Scottish shortbread cookies recipe for an easy holiday cookie idea!
How to Make Shortbread cookies with cranberries and orange zest
It’s really easy to make these cookies–they require only a few ingredients!
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- Almond extract
- Orange zest
How to Make It:
Cream butter and sugar. First, you’ll cream the butter and sugar together, then add the almond extract.
Add remaining ingredients. Next, you’ll gradually add the flour, then gently fold in the cranberries and orange zest.
Chill and bake. Last, you’ll chill the dough for a bit before scooping it onto a prepared baking sheet and popping it in the oven.
Notes and Adaptations:
- Feel free to add chopped pecans or slivered almonds if you’d like! You could add 1/2 cup (or up to 1 cup if you like a lot of pecans) to the batter for a little crunch!
- You could also add some white chocolate chips if you want some added sweetness.
- If you want to make a half batch, check out our tips for how to easily halve ingredients.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
- 3 tbsp fresh orange zest
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add almond extract and mix to combine.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour, mixing just until incorporated.
- Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the cranberries and orange zest until combined.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 325F and line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
- Using a small ice cream scoop (or cookie scoop), scoop out dough rounds onto prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes or just until lightly golden.
- Remove from baking sheets and cool on a wire rack.
Feel free to add chopped pecans if desired--you could use 1/2 - 1 cup, depending on your preference!
Amount Per Serving Calories 166Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 27mgSodium 2mgCarbohydrates 17gFiber 1gSugar 6gProtein 2g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is not guaranteed for accuracy.