The Best Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

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Do you have a cookie exchange or holiday parties to attend this year? If so, I’ve got you covered! These are the best cranberry orange shortbread cookies and they are perfect for this time of year.

I’m so excited to be joining a group of blogger friends today to share some cookie exchange recipes and party ideas with you.

If you are coming over from Rachel at the Ponds Farmhouse, welcome! I’m so happy you are joining us!

Her dark chocolate pomegranate bark looks amazing, and I can’t wait to try it.

dark chocolate bark with pomegranate

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cookie exchange recipes

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double chocolate oreo bark
easy no bake Christmas cookies
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eggnog snickerdoodle cookies
Christmas monster cookies
favorite fudge
holiday dipped oreo cookies
cranberry orange shortbread cookies
dark chocolate pomegranate bark
pistachio thumbprint cookies
tiger butter fudge
molasses cookies
cinnamon sugar pecans
cinnamon popcorn
holiday punch

cranberry orange shortbread cookies

I have to be honest about these cranberry orange shortbread cookies. I’ve actually never made this exact recipe before now.

Starting with a good shortbread cookie recipe I have and adding fresh cranberries and orange zest made this a fun new cookie recipe for the holidays.

I have to say the first time experiment was a success. The orange flavor mixed with cranberries made the perfect shortbread cookie.

And they are light, moist and delicious and might be my new favorite cookies.


ingredients for cranberry shortbread cookies

ingredients for cranberry orange shortbread cookies flour sugar orange vanilla cranberries

1 cup butter (salted), room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup fresh cranberries
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
zest from one orange


directions for shortbread cookies


Using stand mixer or hand mixer at medium speed, cream butter and powdered sugar together until well blended.

Add flour and vanilla and mix until just blended.

Rough chop fresh cranberries (I use a mini food processor for this) then mix with 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.

Fold chopped cranberries into cookie dough mixture and add fresh orange zest.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a log shape, then wrap in plastic wrap.

Place in freezer for about 30 minutes.



Remove from freezer, unwrap the dough log and using a sharp knife, cut into 1/4″ slices.

Put cookies on parchment lined baking sheet. Place in 325 degree preheated oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until very lightly browned.

Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Print the recipe card below, to save for later.

plate of cranberry orange shortbread cookies

Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

These moist and delicious shortbread cookies are perfect for cookie exchange parties and holiday get togethers.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cookies

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup salted butter room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup fresh cranberries rough chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • zest from one orange

Instructions
 

  • Using stand or hand mixer, cream butter and powdered sugar together until well blended.
  • Add flour and vanilla and mix until just blended.
  • Rough chop cranberries (I use a mini food chopper for this) then mix with 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.
  • Fold chopped cranberries into cookie dough mixture and add fresh orange zest.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a log shape, then wrap in plastic wrap.
  • Place in freezer for about 30 minutes.
  • Remove from freezer, unwrap the dough log and using a sharp knife, cut into 1/4" slices.
  • Put cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Place in 325 degree oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until very lightly browned.
  • Remove from oven and place cookies on wire baking rack to cool.
Keyword cookies, desserts, holiday cookies, holiday dessert, shortbread cookie, sweets



variations for orange cranberry shortbread cookies

If you like nuts, you can add chopped walnuts or pecans to the mix when you add the cranberries and orange zest.

Omit the orange zest if you want.

You can substitute chopped dried cranberries for fresh, just omit the sugar.

You can substitute almond extract for the vanilla extract, if you prefer.

If you are using unsalted butter, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to your shortbread dough mixture.

These cookies can be cut into shapes if you want. Just form dough into a ball and refrigerate for about an hour, then take out of fridge and using a rolling pin, roll dough out to about 1/4″ thickness. Cut with a cookie cutter of your choice.

You can store the cookies in an airtight container for several days.

packaging ideas for a cookie exchange

As some of you may know, I love thrifting and estate sales.

One of the things that is fun for me to look for when I am thrifting is vintage teacups or small plates.

I like to have these on hand when I deliver cookies, cakes, etc. to friends and neighbors.

And they make such a cute presentation for a hostess gift or cookie exchange party.

I used cello bags to package a stack of my shortbread cookies, and tied with a cute ribbon.

I made tags by using the word document on my computer and printing out on cardstock.

Next, I placed a bag of cookies inside a teacup to make a fun presentation for a cookie exchange.

cranberry shortbread cookies stacked inside vintage teacups



I hope you enjoy this recipe for the best cranberry orange shortbread cookies and try them out for your next holiday party.


Up next is Nicolle, at Our Tiny Nest and she is sharing Pistachio Thumbprint cookies that look amazing.

Be sure and click on the link below each photo to see all of the amazing recipes my friends are sharing.

blessings and happy holidays,

Christmas Cookies and Holiday Treats

Are you looking to add some new recipes to your holiday rotation this year? Click on the links below to go to each post and see more.

Midwest Life And Style – Peanut Butter Balls | Cottage On Bunker Hill – Double Chocolate Oreo Bark | White Lilac Farmhouse – No Bake Christmas Cookies | Cottage In The Mitten – Holiday Peanut Butter Cookies

My Family Thyme – Eggnog Snickerdoodle Cookies | Eleanor Rose Home – Christmas Monster Cookies | Pasha Is Home – Christmas Fudge | Tatertots And Jello – Holiday Dipped Oreo Cookies

The Ponds Farmhouse – Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Bark | Vintage Home Designs – Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies | Our Tiny Nest – Pistachio Thumbprint Cookies | Bricks ‘n Blooms – Tiger Butter Fudge

The Tattered Pew – Daddy’s Molasses Cookies | Open Doors Open Hearts – Cinnamon Sugar Pecans | WM Design House – Cinnamon Popcorn | She Gave It A Go – Holiday Punch

Be sure and Pin it to remember it…..

cranberry orange shortbread cookies

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25 Comments

  1. These look so delicious and festive sweet friend!
    I am excited about making these, and gifting them to my mother this holiday season.
    Thank you for sharing…pinned!
    xoxo,
    Brendt

  2. Michele, I love shortbread cookies and cranberries. So this combination is going to be a favorite. I love how you packaged them into a mug. What a wonderful want to exchange them. I have pinned and saved this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Michele these look amazing! Wow! Adding to my baking list! Must make them. xo

    1. These look delicious! I love how you packaged them. So cute. Happy Holidays!

      1. Thank you sweet friend! I appreciate that!

  4. Nice – however, there is no amount for butter listed in the ingredients. OOPS!

    1. So sorry that was missed on the recipe card! It is listed above the recipe card in the “ingredients” paragraph. Thanks for pointing that out and I will correct it now.

  5. I love a good shortbread with my afternoon coffee and yours looks so pretty! Cranberry and orange is such a nice flavor combo for the holidays too! Pinned your recipe Michele and can’t wait to try them !

    1. Thank you Nicolle! I hope you get a chance to try them and thanks for pinning!

  6. Michele these pretty cookies sound so yummy! I love how you packaged them up too. I adore shortbread and this is a fun twist! Pinned!

    1. Thanks Kelly! They were fun to make and package in a different way.

    1. Thanks Rachel! I hope you love them too!

  7. My family has been on an orange cranberry kick since Thanksgiving and they are going to go nuts when I bake these cookies! Adding to my grocery list now! pinned

    1. Oh good! I hope you love them as much as I did!

  8. These look so delicious, Michele. I am anxious to make them. Shortbread is my downfall, and I love to make cookies every holiday season.

    1. I hope you get a chance to try them Wendy! They turned out pretty yummy!

  9. Oh yum, Michele! Your cookies sound so delicious. I bet the orange zest and cranberry combination is heavenly. I pinned your cookie recipe to my holiday dessert board and can’t wait to try it. Thank you for joining me on today’s hop.

    Merry Christmas!

    1. Thanks so much for including me Jen! I hope you get to try the cookies and thanks for pinning!

  10. They are so festive looking!! Of course, I love cranberries…it’s required when you live in New England!!

    1. Of course Jennifer!! I hope you get to try them. enjoy!

  11. I love tea and nothing goes better with tea than shortbread! These look so festive! Pinned and Merriest Christmas to you!!

    1. Thanks Kim! I hope you get to try them. Enjoy!

  12. I love cranberries so I know I’m going to love your cranberry orange shortbread cookies! They are so pretty and I love your gift ideas!

    1. Thank you Michelle! They turned out really good. I hope you enjoy them!

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