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Cranberry orange shortbread cookies on a decorative plate

Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies Recipe

Emma Duckworth
Buttery, soft shortbread cookies filled with citrus orange and festive dried cranberries and covered in orange glaze. These are the perfect addition to your festive baking this year.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Total Time 28 mins
Method Cookies
Cuisine British
Servings 20
Calories 127 kcal

Ingredients
 

Shortbread

  • 60 g caster sugar
  • 1 orange - zest
  • 125 g unsalted butter - room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 180 g plain flour (all-purpose)
  • 75 g dried cranberries - finely chopped

Orange glaze

  • 120 g powdered icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar)
  • 30 ml orange juice
  • 1 tsp unsalted butter - melted

Instructions
 

  • Rub sugar and orange zest together. Add the orange zest into the bowl with the sugar and using your fingertips, massage/rub the zest into the sugar granules. This releases the natural oils and will intensify the orange flavour in the cookie. The sugar will become orange stained and will feel wet. This is perfect.
  • Cream together the butter, orange sugar and vanilla extract. Line one or two baking trays with parchment paper. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and orange sugar and cream on medium speed until pale and lightened. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add in the vanilla extract and mix again.
  • Add in flour and cranberries and beat them together. Add the flour and cranberries into the creamed butter, and, at low speed, mix them all on low speed until they are combined. The dough will look quite raggedy.
  • Form a dough and roll out. With your hands, squeeze the cookie dough together making a ball. Press it into a rough disc. Then on a lightly floured surface roll it out to a ½ cm thick. Note: if the dough is too soft at this point then wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes or longer until it firms up slightly and makes it easier to roll out. Keep an eye on it as if the dough is too hard, it will crack when you try to roll it out.
  • Cut out cookie shapes and chill. Once the dough is rolled out, use a cookie cutter (I used a leaf shape) to stamp out the cookies. Lay them onto the prepared baking tray. Bring together any scraps, re-roll and stamp out more cookies. And then, do it again if needs be. Just be aware that every time you re-form the dough, it will pull in the flour from the benchtop and hence may dry out the dough. Add a couple of drops of water to the dough if this happens.
    Now refrigerate the stamped cookies for 30 minutes minimum or until the cutouts have hardened. This means the butter has resolidified and will give you the best possible chance of the cookies retaining their shape in the oven.
  • Bake. Preheat the oven to 170°C (335°F). Remove the cookies from the fridge, then bake for 12-15 mins or until golden around the edges. Cool on the tray for ten minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Mix ingredients together. Add the icing sugar, orange juice, and butter to a medium-sized bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined and smooth. If the glaze is too thin, then add a tablespoon at a time of icing sugar until it reaches the right consistency. If it’s too thick, add a teaspoon of orange juice until the correct consistency is reached.
    Dip cookies into glaze. Dip the face of the cookies into the glaze and gently lift, letting the excess glaze drip off and place on a wire rack and wait for them to set. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Step-by-Step Photos: My blog post includes helpful step-by-step photos to help guide you through making this recipe.
Yield: I used a star cutter 5cm (2-inches) in diameter and cut out 18-20 cookies. The yield will demand on size and shape of your cutter and the thickness you roll out the dough to. This recipe can easily be doubled.
To store: Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week.
To freeze: Undecorated shortbread can be stored in a freezer-safe container and frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight at room temperature.
TIP 1: Re-roll the dough. Once you've cut out the first round of cookies, make sure to bring the dough back together again with your hands, re-shape it then re-roll and cut out more cookies. I do this twice to get the maximum number of cookies from the dough.
TIP 2: Flour your cookie cutters. This stops the dough from sticking to them and avoids you having to peel the dough from the cutter, ruining the cookie shape.
TIP 3: Refrigerate the cookie dough. Unless you what a tray of odd-shaped cookies that have spread all over the place, the dough needs to be chilled.
TIP 4: Keep an eye on the bake time. Everyone's oven runs at a slightly different temperature. With such a short bake time, a minute or two, either way, will make a difference.

Nutrition

Calories: 127kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 1gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 1mgPotassium: 30mgFiber: 1gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 176IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Cranberry Orange Shortbread, Cranberry Shortbread
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