I’ve made these cookies for five consecutive Christmas cookie plates. They’re a big hit! Cranberry Orange Cookies are so easy to put together. You mix everything in a food processor.
These cookies have an interesting mix of dried cranberries, orange zest, allspice, and cloves. Very festive flavors rolled into one or two bites.
They’re pretty, too, which always makes for an attractive plate nestled among the other cookie bounty.
A batch is quick and easy. I usually make two batches and store one in an airtight container in the refrigerator for baking later over the holidays. They don’t spread a lot, either, so you can fit more than 12 on a half-sheet pan. I got 18 cookies on each sheet pan this year.
Rolling the cookie dough in red sugar sprinkles before baking gives the cookie a crunchy exterior and a little sparkle. Cranberry Orange Cookies stay moist and keep well.
And buy red sugar sprinkles early in the season. Egads! I went to six grocery stores until I found four little bottles. And it was ten days before Christmas! Every store had plenty of green. I left two red bottles on the shelf knowing some needy baker would run into the same dilemma as I did. Maybe I should come up with a green sprinkle recipe? Next year, I’m ordering mine online immediately after Thanksgiving.
- ¾ cup dried cranberries
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- Pinch of ground cloves
- 1 stick cold, unsalted butter, but into small pieces
- ¼ cup cranberry juice cocktail
- ½ teaspoon red food coloring
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- Red sugar sprinkles for rolling
- In a food processor, pulse the dried cranberries and granulated sugar until the cranberries are finely ground and the sugar turns red.
- Add the flour, baking powder, orange zest, salt, allspice, and cloves. Pulse until combined.
- Add the butter, and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal.
- In a 1-2 cup measuring cup, combine the cranberry juice, food coloring, and vanilla. Stir with a fork. Break an egg into the measuring cup, and lightly beat the egg.
- Pulse the liquid into the other ingredients until a dough forms.
- Put the dough in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about an hour.
- Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat to 350F degrees.
- Line two half-sheet pans or cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into balls and place them on a cutting board. Once all the balls are made, roll them into the red sugar sprinkles and onto the sheet pan.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes. Remove cookies from the oven onto cooling racks. Let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.
- Store in container with a tight-fitting lid in a cool dry place until ready to serve.