I call these "don't break my heart" Orange Cranberry Cookies mostly because they are cookies baked in the shape of a heart and it's just cute to add a little spin on a cookie name. These Orange Cranberry cookies make a great cookie to add to your Christmas Cookie collection or to make throughout the year even Valentine's Day!
These Orange Cranberry Cookies are tart but sweet with a warm citrus taste. Not made like traditional shortbread cookies, this dough includes eggs. So technically, they are not a "shortbread" cookie because shortbread cookies are made with only butter, sugar and flour. There are no eggs in shortbread.
The addition of cranberry in this not a shortbread cookie brings a little delight to every bight you take. And, if you don't like cranberry, swap them out for any other dried fruit like currents, raisins, or even chocolate chips.
- Tips and Tricks to Making the Most Delicious Orange Cranberry Cookies
- Does the Butter Need to be at Room Temperature?
- Orange You Sweet?
- When to Add Cranberries, Currents, Chocolate Chips Or . . .
- Always Refrigerate Shortbread Cookie Dough
- A Trick to Rolling out the Dough
- Preparing to Bake Your Cookies
- Recipe Details
Tips and Tricks to Making the Most Delicious Orange Cranberry Cookies
Does the Butter Need to be at Room Temperature?
Guess what? If you forgot to take your butter out and leave it at room temperature that's ok. Releax! You can use cold butter straight from the fridge cut up into cubes for this recipe. Throw it in your stand mixer, turn on your mixer and let it do all the work to soften the butter.
Orange You Sweet?
As stated in the recipe title, these are Orange Cranberry Cookies. So where does the orange come from? Well, it could come from orange juice. But, a simpler option is to just use orange drink crystals. Using orange drink crystals allow you to control the flavor intensity and reduce the amount of liquid in your dough. And, guess what? If you don't like orange, substitute it for another flavor like lemon, lime, strawberry, etc . . . Get the picture?
When to Add Cranberries, Currents, Chocolate Chips Or . . .
Do yourself a favor and don't add the cranberries to the dough right away. Leave the addition of the cranberries to the dough in the stand as the last ingredient before you roll out the dough on a surface. This will prevent the cranberries from getting minced during the mixing process. You want to be able actually see the cranberries and make out what they actually are, not just pieces of cranberries.
Always Refrigerate Shortbread Cookie Dough
Before you roll out the dough and cut-out the cookies, refrigerate the dough for at least an hour. Refrigerating the dough will allow it to rest and cool down. The last thing you want is to put room temperature cookies into a hot oven. Treat this as a fair warning to prevent cookie soup!
A Trick to Rolling out the Dough
Here is a trick I read somewhere (sorry I can't remember where it came from), place a piece of wax paper on the surface where you plan to roll out your dough . The wax paper prevents the dough from sticking to the surface and makes clean up so much easier! The dough won't stick to the wax paper either.
Preparing to Bake Your Cookies
As you cut out your cookies into shapes, lay them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You can lay them pretty close to one another as they do not expand that much when cooking. That's provided that the dough is still cool after rolling and cutting them out. If they are not cool and have been sitting at room temperature for a while, keep reading below for what do next.
The best tip I can give you is that if it is taking you long or you are making a large batch of cookies, don't bake them right away. If you've just finished cutting out your last cookie and it's been a long time since you filled the first tray with cookies, put trays with cookies in the fridge for about 30 minutes before baking. Meaning, if your cookies are room temperature, stop and refrigerate them before you put them into a hot oven. Otherwise, the dough will have softened up so much that the cookies will loose their shape as they bake. Then, you really will have broken my heart cookies!
Orange Cranberry Cookies
- 1 cups salted butter
- ½ cups sugar
- ⅓ cups powdered sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ cups dried cranberries
- 2 to 3 tbsp orange zest about 1 orange
- 2 tbsp orange juice crystals like tang
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside. Add butter, orange zest and sugars to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat ingredients until smooth. About 3 minutes.
- In another mixing bowl combine flour, salt, and baking powder together. Combine well using a whisk. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture a little at a time alternating with the eggs. Continue to alternate between the flour mixture and eggs .
- Add the juice crystals and continue alternating between adding the flour and eggs. Add more juice crystals if needed. Add the cranberries and finish mixing until the mixture resembles a dough. If needed you can remove from stand mixer and finish combining ingredients manually on the counter.
- Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes. Roll out dough into sheets ¼ inch thick and using a cookie cutter, preferably hearts ( 😊 ), cut out hearts and place them on the cookie sheet carefully. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Store in air-tight container or freeze.