Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

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These Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies are so perfect for the holidays!

Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies recipe from

If you’re wanting something fun and different for the holidays this year, then look no further!  These sweet little gems are just bursting with bright wintry flavor.

They’re based off my favorite cut-out cookie recipe, and I promise you, it’s the best you’ll ever use.  The dough is an absolute dream to work with, and the best thing is, they DO NOT SPREAD at all when they’re baked.  So you can keep your pretty shapes!  You won’t lose any of that gorgeous detail.

I used a 2 1/2-inch diameter fluted cookie cutter, and rolled the dough out to about 1/8-inch thick.  So these are small and thin, and pretty as can be.

My original recipe is meant to be iced, but this cranberry orange version doesn’t need a bit of it.  They’re naturally beautiful, with the dark red dried cranberries and bright orange zest, and there’s tons of flavor!  One bite will put you right in the holiday mood.

Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies recipe from

The dough is meant to be very stiff, and not at all sticky, so you can roll it out easily between two sheets of parchment paper without having to dust your work surface with flour.  This makes cookie baking so much easier!  Plus you can re-roll your dough scraps without the cookies getting tough.  I find it very easy to make in an electric stand mixer, but if you don’t have one, just use a regular hand mixer and knead the last bit of flour in by hand.  You’ll know it’s good to go when the dough can easily gather itself into a ball, and no longer feels sticky.

One more pro tip:  be sure to chop your dried cranberries very finely.  If you don’t, it will make it a bit harder to cut your cookies out with the cookie cutter.  If you land the edge of your cutter on a cranberry, it’s very hard to slice all the way through, and it might mess up your edges.

Bake up a batch of these cranberry orange shortbread cookies this holiday season!  Your friends and family will love the bright, seasonal flavors.

Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies recipe from

Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

Yield: about 50 cookies

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 large Eggland's Best egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • between 3 and 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup dried sweetened cranberries, very finely chopped
  • zest of one medium orange
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer, and beat on medium-low speed until smooth.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla, and continue to beat until incorporated.
  4. Add 3 cups of the flour, the cornstarch, and salt, and stir on low speed until a stiff dough has formed.
  5. If the dough still feels sticky, add more flour (1/4 cup at a time) until it pulls away cleanly from the sides of the bowl.
  6. Stir in the dried cranberries and orange zest.
  7. Between 2 sheets of parchment paper, roll the dough to a thickness of 1/8-inch.
  8. Use a 2 1/2-inch fluted round cookie cutter to cut shapes.
  9. Place the unbaked cookies on the prepared baking sheets, and bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until just beginning to turn golden around the edges.

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  • Sara Maniez wrote:

    Your cookies look delicious! Thank you for including our recipe at the end of your post!

  • Houston Kirby wrote:

    Great recipe with excellent flavors. A few notes from experience: Do not add more than 3 1/2 cups of flour even though it might not be pulling away from the side of the bowl of the stand mixer. Also, 1/8th of an inch is way too thin, unless you like hardtack. I suggest going no thinner than a 1/4th of an inch. Again, beautiful flavors, watch the flour.

  • Martha McKinnon wrote:

    Would this dough work in a cookie press?