The secret to the absolute best cranberry orange cookies is soaking the dried cranberries in fresh orange juice! Plus, a fresh orange glaze makes these cookies so special! Soft, chewy and delicious cranberry orange cookies recipe that only makes 1 dozen. It's the new favorite cookie for the Christmas cookie exchange!
The Christmas cookie exchange party looks a lot different this year, and that's totally okay! While we might be leaving plates of cookies on our porch and waving to each other through the window, it will still warm our hearts.
This recipe for cranberry orange cookies makes just 1 dozen cookies, so if you’re skipping the cookie exchange altogether, you can still make a few batches of different cookies and not end up with too many leftovers.
These cranberry orange cookies are the best because they're a chewy, soft oatmeal cookie that reminds me of a lace cookie but slightly thicker. The incredible cranberry orange flavor comes from soaking dried cranberries in freshly squeezed orange juice. Though the cranberries are strained before being added to the dough, the leftover blush-colored orange juice turns into a pretty glaze!
Ingredients: Cranberry Orange Cookies with Oatmeal
- Dried Cranberries. The thing that makes these cranberry orange cookies absolutely incredible is that the dried cranberries are soaked in fresh orange juice! We need ½ cup of regular sweetened and dried cranberries.
- Orange. One medium navel orange will give us enough zest and juice for these cookies.
- Butter. I always use unsalted butter when baking. Let the butter rest of the counter to soften before baking.
- Brown Sugar. Light or brown sugar both work equally well here.
- Granulated Sugar. A small amount of white granulated sugar.
- Egg Yolk. We only need one egg yolk, not the whole egg. Do not use the egg white. If you double the recipe, use two egg yolks. If you triple it, use three egg yolks.
- Vanilla Extract. A small splash compliments the orange juice and tart cranberries.
- Flour. All-purpose, bleached regular flour that has been fluffed, scooped and leveled with a spoon to measure.
- Rolled Oats. Do not use instant oats or steel cut oats. Reach for old fashioned, rolled oats.
- Baking Soda.
- Baking Powder.
- Powdered Sugar. This is for the orange glaze. We'll be using the leftover liquid from soaking the cranberries and turning it into a pretty glaze!
How to Make Cranberry Orange Cookies
First, preheat the oven to 350, and line a standard-size sheet pan with parchment paper. Next, soak the cranberries in the juice of a fresh navel orange. Let the cranberries soak for at least 20 minutes. The orange juice will take on a blush color when they’ve soaked long enough.
As you drain the cranberries in a sieve, press on them with a spoon to help extract some of their color into the orange juice. This will make a pretty glaze for the cranberry orange cookies after baking!
Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and zest of one orange. Orange zest is full of fragrant oils, and beating it into the butter really elevates the flavor of the cookies!
Next, add one egg yolk and beat just to combine. These cranberry orange cookies are made entirely in one bowl by sprinkle the flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, and salt right in the bowl. Beat just to combine.
Finally, stir the drained cranberries into your cranberry orange cookies dough.
Divide the cookies into 12 even sized balls, and space them evenly on the baking sheet. Bake for 9-10 minutes, until the cookies are starting to turn golden brown on the edges. Let the cranberry orange cookies cool on the pan completely.
The tart flavor of the cranberries and sweet orange intensify overnight, so I recommend making these cranberry orange cookies the day before you want to serve them. Just keep them on the counter at room temperature, tightly covered.
Be sure to check out all of my Christmas desserts for this year’s celebration, and if you love cranberries, my cranberry orange bread.
Other Christmas Cookies:
For an at-home cookie smorgasbord, I recommend these chocolate thumbprints with marshmallow creme filling, these pecan pie bars for a taste of pie in smaller form, a small batch of gingersnaps, this chocolate shortbread recipe, and these candy cane sugar cookies. And of course, these cranberry orange oatmeal cookies with an orange glaze. With a smorgasbord like that, you’ll get a taste of all of the favorite holiday flavors. For sparkly, make my Christmas Sugar Cookie Cut Outs.
Cranberry Orange Cookies
One dozen cranberry orange cookies with cranberry glaze.
- ½ cup dried sweetened cranberries
- 1 large navel orange, zested and juiced
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk (egg white reserved for another use)
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350, and a line a standard-size baking sheet with parchment paper. If you don’t have parchment, use a light metal sheet pan and spray it with nonstick spray.
- Add the dried cranberries to a bowl with the fresh orange juice. Stir and let sit for 20 minutes. Then, drain the cranberries, reserving the juice. Use a spoon to extract as much juice as possible. Save the juice for the glaze.
- Next, in a large bowl, beat together with an electric mixer the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and orange zest until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
- Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract, and beat just until combined.
- Sprinkle the flour, oats, salt, baking soda, and baking powder on top of the dough. Beat until you can’t see any streaks of flour, but be careful not to over-mix.
- Finally, stir in the drained cranberries.
- Divide the dough into 12 evenly-sized balls, and space them evenly on the baking sheet. Bake for 9-10 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are starting to turn golden brown. They will be puffy when they come out of the oven, and then deflate and crackle a bit as they cool. Let them cool completely on the baking sheet.
- Before serving, whisk together 2 tablespoons of the orange juice leftover from soaking the cranberries with the powdered sugar. Drizzle on top of each cookie and serve.
Storage: The tart flavor of the cranberries and sweet orange intensify overnight, so I recommend making these the day before you want to serve them. Just keep them on the counter at room temperature, tightly covered. They keep for up to 3 days. You can freeze raw dough balls 3 months in advance; add a few extra minutes to the baking time.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 153Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 67mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 14gProtein: 2g
Thanks for a cookie recipe which doesn't involve chocolate. These turned out great, with a very delicate orange flavor and a buttery crumb. I'll put less sugar in next time as my oranges are quite sweet. And as always, love the mini-batch!
Great cookie for fruit lovers! I really enjoyed the flavor and texture + the orange zest smelled heavenly in the kitchen! For an allergic person, could the oats be replaced by more flour?
Thanks for your inspiration, happy holidays to you and your family.