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Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

A delicious soft and buttery shortbread cookie filled with dried cranberries and fresh orange zest that’s the perfect easy-to-make Christmas cookie.

stack of cranberry orange shortbread cookies on a plate

Why This Recipe Works

Cranberry and orange are one of my all-time favorite holiday flavors. It started with my homemade cranberry sauce, soon I was making cranberry orange Christmas cake and now these cranberry orange shortbread cookiesare top of my Christmas cookie line-up.

While other similar recipes are labor intensive, I’ve modified the process so that you can enjoy these ultra-buttery cranberry orange shortbread cookies and not have to spend forever making them!

close up of cranberries and orange pieces in the cookies

By the way, if you think shortbread is not your thing just give these a shot. They are not the dry, crumbly shortbread you may have tried in the past. They are full of flavor, soft and super buttery.

cookies sprinkles with sugar and cooling on a wire rack

Just one caveat: You do need to be careful not to over bake them so that they don’t get dry and sandy.

The big difference between my version of this recipe and others is that I use my Ninja Blender, but a regular food processor is perfect too.

This is also a great make-ahead recipe, since the dough needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before baking. I like to make the dough the day before I need it and then bake them fresh the day of.

Dip the cookies in sugar before baking or spoon some over them when they are fresh out of the oven to add a little crunch. Delicious!

Christmas shortbread cookies stacked high with dried cranberries on a plate

These cranberry orange shortbread cookies are one of my all-time favorite Christmas cookies and I know you’re going to  love them, too!

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Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookie

Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

Jenna Shaughnessy
A delicious soft and buttery shortbread cookie filled with dried cranberries and fresh orange zest that’s the perfect easy-to-make Christmas cookie that no one can resist.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Refigerate 2 hrs
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 cookies
Calories 299 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • ½ cup dried cranberries Craisins
  • ¾ cup sugar divided
  • cups all purpose flour spooned and leveled
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup butter cubed and cold
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • additional granulated sugar to coat cookies

Instructions
 

  • Combine cranberries and ¼ cup of sugar in a food processor and process just until the cranberries are broken down into smaller pieces. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
  • Combine flour, salt and remaining sugar into the food processor. Add the cubed butter and pulse until you have very fine crumbs.
  • Pour flour mixture into a large mixing bowl and combine with cranberry and sugar mixture. Stir in vanilla extract, orange zest and orange juice. 
  • Use your hands to knead the dough until it comes together and forms a ball. Work the dough until it comes together. If it's too crumbly and won't form a ball, add another teaspoon of orange juice.
  • Shape dough into a log by rolling it out until it’s about two inches in diameter. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for two hours or up to 72 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Using a large sharp knife, cut slices of cookie dough about ¼ inch thick.
  • Place about a half a cup of sugar in a bowl and coat the cookie slices with sugar.
  • Place cookies on baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or just until cookies are set. Do not over bake.
  • Let cookies cool for 15 minutes on baking sheet before removing to cooling rack. Let cool completely.
  • Store in airtight container for 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 299kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 3gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 136mgPotassium: 47mgFiber: 1gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 487IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 8mgIron: 1mg
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