Buttery, soft shortbread cookies filled with citrus orange and festive dried cranberries and covered in orange glaze. These Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies are the perfect addition to your festive baking this year.
It’s cookie season at the moment and my favourite shortbread recipe has been given a holiday makeover with the addition of some ultimate festive flavours.
Citrus orange and dried cranberries are such popular flavours of this season and embody all aspects of the holidays. Added to both sweet AND savoury foods, these ingredients will instantly add impact to any recipe.
What are Shortbread Cookies
Originating in Scotland they are buttery, sweet cookies that get their name ‘short’ from the very crumbly nature of them. Due to the high butter content, once cooked at a low temperature, the dough, just like shortcrust pastry, develops a super light, melt in your mouth texture. It’s just perfection!
Tips on making Shortbread Cookies
These are some of the easiest cookies to make but there are a few tips to ensure successful baking of these Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies:
As the granules of caster sugar are super fine, they’ll dissolve into the butter when mixing much quicker than granulated sugar. This leaves you a much smoother dough at the end.
This recipe calls for two rest times in the fridge. The first once the dough has been formed and wrapped as a disc in cling film prior to rolling and cutting out the shapes. The recipe calls for room temperature butter at the start and hence the dough can be quite soft which can make it hard to roll out evenly and cut the shapes out easily. The 15 minutes allows it to solidify just enough to over come this.
Once the dough is rolled and stars cut, the cut dough shapes then go back into the fridge for 45 minutes minimum ... I’d fully recommend at least an hour in the fridge. Overnight is a great option (just cover in cling wrap so that the dough doesn’t dry out). This allows the butter to solidify again and this in turn allows for the cookies to maintain their shape in the oven when baking and prevent spreading.
Some recipes call for the cookies to be cooked on a low temperature. That won’t work for these shortbread cookies. The butter content is way too high and if baked at a low temp then the cookies will end up spreading all over the place. At the 180C/350F temp they’ll set faster and maintain their shape. With the higher temp they’ll need less time in the oven - I bake them until they just start to turn that golden colour...gently kissed! Perfect
How to make these shortbread cookies
Step 1: Add the butter, sugar, flour, vanilla extract and orange zest into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until combined.
Step 2: Add the cranberries and mix until fine bread crumbs form
Step 3: Turn out onto a floured surface and using your hands push the crumbs until it forms a dough. If you find it is still a little crumbly and the dough won’t hold, then flick some cold water over the dough to add the smallest amount of moisture. Gently knead until it comes together.
Step 4: Form the dough into a disc and wrap in cling wrap and place in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Step 5: Remove the dough from the fridge and on a piece of baking paper roll the dough out. Cut out your cookies and place them on a separate baking tray lined with baking paper. With the excess dough knead to gather and roll out again and cut more cookies. Refrigerate the cookies on a baking tray for one hour.
Step 6: Bake the cookies at 180C/350F for 8 - 10 minutes, until they just start to turn golden. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire wrack
Step 7: Mix the icing sugar and orange juice in a bowl and dip each cookie to coat. Set aside to set and then enjoy!
The awesome Cosette from Cosette’s Kitchen has put together a 2019 cookie swap, a union of fabulous bakers and bloggers each sharing their favourite cookie recipes. It’s a brilliant way to find new and inspiring recipes for your next cookie baking session. #virtualcookieparty2019
Cosette’s Kitchen Tahini Pinwheel Cookies
Kathryn Pauline’s Sesame Blossom Cookies
Candice Walker’s Dark Chocolate Gelt with Matcha Mousse
Tawnie Graham’s (Krolls_Korner) White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
¡Hola! Jalapeño Peppermint Mocha Milk Fudge
Rylee Foer (About to Sprout) Spiced Honey Cardamom Cookies with Orange Glaze
Gina Fontana (Healthy Little Vittles) Cookie Dough Stuffed Dates
Christine Ma (Cherry on My Sundae) Southern Butter Pecan Skillet Cookie
Alexa Blay’s (Key To My Lime) Gluten Free Vegan Sugar Cookies for Cutouts
Tamara Giebel (The Herbalist & The Carnivore) Chocolate Espresso Dipped Hazelnut Lace Cookies
Ashley Cuoco’s (ashcuoco) Stamped Citrus Shortbread
Mike Johnson’s (MikeBakesNYC) Chocolate Peppermint Macarons
Elizabeth Waterson (ConfessionsOfABakingQueen) Viennese Whirls
Erin Kowal's (Down to a Simmer) Date Drop Cookies
Lily Morello (lilybubbletea) Holiday Fuel Cookies
Kathleen Culver, The Floured Table Triple Ginger Molasses Cookies
Taylor Carson (Crust and Confections PNW) Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
Kimberlee Ho (kickassbaker) White Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Sandwiches
Cindy Feingold (saltandserenity) Chocolate Dipped Mint sandwich Cookies
Tamara, Tina, Tara (ThreeTeasKitchen) https://threeteaskitchen.com/lawzena/
Jean Choi’s (whatgreatgrandmaate) Cranberry Pistachio Paleo Chocolate Cookies
Tristin Rieken’s (onearmedmama) Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies
Kathryn (wornslapout) Rocky Road Chocolate Bark
Taylor (allpurposeflourchild) Mulling Spice and Orange Marmalade Thumbprint Cookies
Dana (olivemeetscoconut) Cranberry Orange Halaweh Cookies
KendellKreations Pecan Butter Balls
Kristine Hinterkopf (TheEarnestBaker) Smoked Sea Salt and Bourbon Cowboy Cookies
Anita (cookonawhim) Cranberry and Rosemary Tassies
Casey Colodny (TheMindfulHapa) Paleo Soft Ginger Cookies
Kat Higashiyama (Pasta Ragazza) Chocolate and Coffee Biscotti
For more festive bakes check out the following:
Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies
- 125 g unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into small cubes
- 65 g caster sugar
- 180 g plain flour (all-purpose)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 orange, zest
- 75 g cranberries, finely chopped
- 160 g powdered icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar)
- 30 ml orange juice
- Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F). In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, flour, vanilla extract and orange zest and combine until you get a fine bread crumb consistency.
- Add the cranberries to the butter mixture and mix until combined. Turn out onto a floured surface and press together with your hands until a cohesive dough is formed. If the dough looks a little crumbly, flick some cold water over the top and press the dough together. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Flour your surface, remove dough from the fridge and roll out on a sheet of baking paper to ½ a cm thick (or more if you prefer a thicker cookie). Using a cookie cutter (I used a star shape but alternatively use a round one), cut out your shapes and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Place the tray in the fridge and chill for 45-60 minutes. Remove from the fridge, then bake for 8-10 mins or until just golden. Remove from oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
- Mix the icing sugar and orange juice until the glaze is smooth and coats the back of a spoon. Dip the top side of each cookie into the glaze and place it back on a wire rack for them to set. Enjoy!
All recipes are developed and tested in Metric grams. I strongly recommend that you bake using digital scales for a more accurate result. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.