How to Make Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

Welcome to the delightful fusion of tangy citrus and sweet, tart cranberries in our “Zesty Twist” Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies. These buttery, melt-in-your-mouth cookies are a perfect treat for the holidays, tea time, or as a sophisticated snack any time of year. Featuring the bright zest of orange and the jewel-like bits of cranberry, these shortbread cookies offer a refreshing twist on a classic favorite, making them an irresistible addition to your cookie repertoire.




Why You’ll Love “Zesty Twist” Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies:

  • Elegant Flavor Combination: The vibrant flavors of orange and cranberry elevate the classic shortbread to a festive favorite.
  • Simple Elegance: With their crumbly texture and beautiful flecks of color, these cookies are as lovely to look at as they are to eat.
  • Versatile: Perfect for holiday gifting, elegant tea parties, or as a delightful finish to any meal.
  • Easy to Make: With just a few ingredients and simple steps, these cookies come together with ease.

Ingredients Notes For “Zesty Twist” Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies:

  • Butter: The base of shortbread, providing richness and a tender crumb. Use unsalted butter for control over the saltiness.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar sweetens the dough, while a dusting of powdered sugar adds a touch of elegance to the finished cookies.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour gives the cookies structure without weighing them down.
  • Orange Zest: Adds a bright, citrusy flavor that complements the cranberries beautifully.
  • Dried Cranberries: Chopped finely, these add tart sweetness and festive color to every bite.
  • Vanilla Extract: Enhances the overall flavor of the cookies.

Recipe Steps:

  1. Cream Butter and Sugar: Start by creaming together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla extract and orange zest for flavor.
  2. Combine Dry Ingredients: Whisk together the flour and a pinch of salt, then gradually add to the butter mixture until just combined. Fold in the chopped cranberries.
  3. Shape the Dough: Turn the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and form it into a log. Chill in the refrigerator until firm.
  4. Slice and Bake: Once chilled, slice the dough into rounds and place on a lined baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven until the edges are just golden.
  5. Finish with Sugar: While still warm, sprinkle the cookies with powdered sugar for a sweet, decorative touch.

Storage Options:

  • Room Temperature: Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
  • Freeze: For longer storage, freeze the dough log or baked cookies. Thaw at room temperature before slicing and baking, or serving.


How to Make Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

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Author: Maria


  • Unsalted butter: 1 cup 2 sticks, softened at room temperature
  • Powdered sugar: 3/4 cup sifted
  • Vanilla extract: 1 teaspoon
  • Orange zest: From 1 large orange
  • All-purpose flour: 2 1/4 cups
  • Salt: 1/4 teaspoon
  • Dried cranberries: 3/4 cup roughly chopped
  • Optional for glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar mixed with 2-3 tablespoons orange juice


Prepare the Dough:

  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and 3/4 cup powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla extract and orange zest.
  • Gradually add the all-purpose flour and salt to the butter mixture, mixing until just combined. Do not overmix.
  • Fold in the chopped dried cranberries until evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Chill the Dough:

  • Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Form the dough into a log shape, about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until firm enough to slice.

Preheat Oven and Prepare Baking Sheets:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Slice and Bake:

  • Once chilled, unwrap the dough log and slice it into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Place the cookie rounds on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to turn golden. Be careful not to overbake.
  • Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Glaze (Optional):

  • If desired, whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar with enough orange juice to make a thick but pourable glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies.
  • Allow the glaze to set before serving or storing.

Serve and Enjoy:

  • Once the cookies are completely cool (and the glaze has set, if used), serve them immediately or store them in an airtight container for up to a week.

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