This soft and chewy Orange Cranberry Cookies recipe is packed full of tangy dried cranberries, sweet and silky white chocolate, and fragrant orange zest. They make the perfect holiday cookie but taste great any time of year.
Soft Orange Cranberry Cookies Recipe
These Orange and Cranberry Cookies are the perfect blend of holiday flavors, fragrant orange, tart cranberries, and smooth white chocolate. While I tend to believe they are a Christmas cookie must, these can and should be made during any time of the year.
The cookie dough is made using a basic creaming method, then the dried cranberries and white chocolate chips are added by hand at the end. We’ve added loads of mix-in ideas below to get you started if you want to switch up the flavors. Feel free to have fun creating all sorts of flavor combinations.
Cranberry Orange Cookies Ingredients
- Butter - make sure your butter is room temperature before creaming with the sugars. If you forget to pull it out ahead of time, you can warm it in the microwave for about 10 seconds at a time, being careful not to let it melt.
- Brown Sugar - I like to use light brown sugar for these cookies, but dark brown will work too.
- Sugar - we supplement regular white granulated sugar along with the brown sugar.
- Orange Zest - freshly grated or zested orange zest tastes best. You could mix the zest with the sugar using your fingers to make orange sugar before creaming it with the butter.
- Orange Essential Oil - if you can’t find edible orange essential oil, you could substitute 1-2 teaspoons of orange or vanilla extract. Orange juice doesn’t have a strong enough flavor to work in this recipe.
- Egg - any type of large whole egg will work.
- Flour - this recipe calls for all-purpose flour.
- Baking Soda - the baking soda helps keep the cookies soft and chewy.
- Salt - sea salt works great.
- Dried Cranberries - you can use craisins or any type of dried cranberries for this recipe. Dried cherries would also taste amazing if you want to mix it up.
- White Chocolate Chips - creamy white chocolate chips taste great with tart cranberry, but if you want to leave them out, feel free. Or, you can use regular semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips instead.
Don't be afraid to switch it up; use what you have on hand or make the dough and let your kiddos create their own flavor combinations. Here are a few ideas for variations:
- Nuts: just about any kind! Toast them in a saute pan for about 5 minutes or lightly toast them in the oven and let cool completely before adding to the dough.
- M&M’s: plain, peanut, coconut, peanut butter - all sizes, shapes, and flavors can make fun and cute additions.
- Dried Fruit: raisins, cherries, blueberries, strawberries, flaked toasted coconut, and even sliced and dried bananas would all taste great in cookie dough.
- Extra Crunch: try crushing crushed whoppers, crushed potato chips, or pretzels.
- Flavored Morsels: butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, caramel bits, or Heath pieces would all add delicious little bursts of flavor.
How to Make White Chocolate Cranberry Orange Cookies
- Cream the butter and sugars. Cream the butter, brown sugar, and sugar in an electric mixer bowl for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the orange zest and essential oil and mix again to combine.
- Mix the dough. Add the egg to the butter and sugar mixture and mix on low speed until combined. Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate large bowl. Whisk together, add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, and mix on low speed until combined. Add the dried cranberries and white chocolate chips and mix by hand using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until everything is combined.
- Scoop. Using a spoon or small ice cream scoop, scoop 1 ¼" dough balls onto the prepared cookie sheet about 2" apart.
- Bake. Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are golden brown.
- Serve. Remove cookies from the oven and let them rest on the baking sheet for 2-5 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool. Enjoy!
Tips for Making The Best Cranberry Orange Cookies
- Room Temperature Ingredients: Allow your butter and eggs to come to room temperature. Room-temperature ingredients mix more evenly and create a better texture in your cookies.
- Zest it Up: Don't skip the orange zest. It adds an incredible depth of flavor that elevates the cookies. Be sure to zest only the outer, orange part of the orange skin, avoiding the bitter white pith beneath.
- Chill the Dough: After you mix the cookie dough, refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. Chilled dough is easier to handle and results in thicker, chewier cookies.
- Proper Scooping: Use a cookie scoop or spoon to ensure uniform cookie sizes. This helps them bake evenly.
- Baking Time: Bake your cookies until they are just set but still soft in the center. Overbaking can result in dry cookies. Usually, 8-10 minutes at 350°F works well, but keep an eye on them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! These cookies freeze great. You can freeze the scooped cookie dough for up to 2 months, then transfer the frozen dough balls directly to a cookie sheet and bake. You’ll just need to add about 2 minutes onto the total baking time. You can also freeze the baked cookies for up to 2 months.
While dried cranberries taste great in these cookies, you could try using fresh cranberries. I recommend chopping them up first, then adding about ½-¾ cup to the dough.
More than likely, if you find that your cookies are burning on the bottoms before they have finished cooking in the middle, you have an issue with your cookie sheets or your oven temperature.
You can try baking your cookies on two cookie sheets stacked on top of each other to see if that helps. I also recommend investing in an oven thermometer to make sure that you are baking at the correct temperature.
- Room Temperature: store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- Freezer: you can freeze both the baked cookies and the unbaked cookie dough. As long as the cookies are stored in an airtight container or freezer bag, they will last for up to 2 months.
- To Bake Cookies from Frozen: you can pull frozen dough balls from the freezer and bake them directly in a preheated oven, adding an extra couple of minutes to the baking time.
Orange Cranberry Cookies Recipe
- ½ cup Butter room temperature
- ½ cup Brown Sugar
- ½ cup Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Orange Zest
- 10 drops Orange Essential Oil edible
- 1 large Egg
- 1 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 ½ tsp Baking Soda
- ½ tsp Salt
- ¾ cup Dried Cranberries
- 1 cup White Chocolate Chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray or line with parchment paper and set aside.
- In an electric mixer bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, and sugar for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the orange zest and essential oil and mix again to combine.
- Add the egg to the butter and sugars and mix on low speed until combined.
- In a separate large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together then add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix on low speed until combined. Add the dried cranberries and white chocolate chips and mix by hand using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until everything is combined.
- Using a spoon or small ice cream scoop, scoop 1 ¼" dough balls onto the prepared cookie sheet about 2" apart.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are golden brown.
- Remove cookies from the oven and let them rest on the baking sheet for 2-5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool. Enjoy!
More Of the Best Cookie Recipes
- Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies
- Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- M&M Cookies
- Snickerdoodle Cookies
- Eggnog Cookies
- Molasses Cookies
- Gingersnap Cookies
- Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Monster Cookies
- More Easy Dessert Recipes
- More Holiday Cookie Favorites
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These soft Cranberry Orange Cookies with white chocolate chips are a Christmas cookie must. They are the perfect blend of holiday flavors, fragrant orange zest, tart cranberries and smooth white chocolate.