With a delightful burst of flavor with every bite, Cranberry Orange Meltaway Cookies are a near perfect treat for the holiday season.
The tangy cranberries and zesty orange zest create wonderful aromas in your house, and your family might be uncontrollably drawn to the warmth of the kitchen, eager to savor the magic of these melt-in-your-mouth cookies.
But hold them off long enough to add the sweet glaze on top, to take these cookies over the top!
Why You’ll Love These Cookies ❤️
I don’t know about you, but I can’t resist cookies with “meltaway” textures. It’s a soft, crumbly goodness that dissolves effortlessly, leaving you craving more.
What sets these cookies apart is their unique combination of tart cranberries and the citrusy brightness of orange zest. The result is a symphony of flavors that dance on your taste buds, creating a perfect balance of tangy and sweet.
**Be sure to scroll to the recipe card for detailed quantities and directions**
📖How to Make Cranberry Orange Meltaway Cookies
Place your dried cranberries in a small bowl and add just enough water to cover. Let them soak for 5 to 10 minutes to plump up a little. I set them aside while I’m getting everything else started.
Cream the butter and sugar together by using a hand mixer on medium-high speed for at least 2 minutes.
💭Tip: use soft, not melted, butter for the right cookie texture.
Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Then add the orange zest, egg, vanilla extract, and baking soda. Mix for about a minute to combine.
💭Tip: zest only the orange part of the skin, not the white. Called the “pith”, the white part of citrus skin is unpleasantly bitter.
Add about half the flour and mix in with the hand mixer. Then switch to a spatula or spoon to add the rest of the flour. Stir until just combined.
Drain the cranberries and lightly pat dry with a paper towel. Add the cranberries to the bowl and stir to incorporate.
Use a medium cookie scoop and portion the dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Leave about two inches between to allow the cookies to spread.
Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, until the edges are very slightly golden brown. Then remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the sheet for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
For the finishing touch, make a simple glaze of powdered sugar and orange juice(squeezed from the orange you just zested). Drizzle about a teaspoon of glaze on each cookie. Allow the glaze to set, then serve.
👪 Serving Suggestions
These Cranberry Orange Meltaway Cookies are so delicious with a cup of coffee or tea.
For a festive touch, serve them at holiday gatherings or package them in decorative boxes for a thoughtful homemade gift.
Once completely cooled, store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. For longer storage, freeze the baked cookies and thaw them as needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Fresh cranberries will release liquid when they bake, which will throw off the balance in the dough. I recommend you stick with dried cranberries for these cookies.
I'm so glad you asked! I love them so much that I made a whole post of dried cranberry recipes. So go ahead and buy that super-sized bag, it won't go to waste!
Cranberry Orange Meltaway Cookies
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup butter room temperature (2 sticks)
- 1 cup sugar
- Zest of one orange 1 tablespoon +
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 ½ cups flour
For the glaze
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons orange juice
- Preheat oven to 375F. Line your baking sheet(s) with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place dried cranberries in a small bowl. Add enough water to just cover. Soak for 5 to minutes.
- In a medium-large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar with a hand mixer on medium-high for at least 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the orange zest, vanilla, baking soda, and egg. Mix for another minute to combine.
- Add about half the flour and mix on low. Then switch to a spatula or spoon to add the rest of the flour. Stir until just combined.
- Drain the cranberries, lightly pat dry with a paper towel. Add tot eh bowl and stir in to the dough.
- Use a medium cookie scoop (2 tablespoon size) to scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Leave about 2 inches between to allow the cookies to spread.
- Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until the edges are just slightly golden.
- Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
- Whisk the powdered sugar and juice together to make the glaze. Drizzle about a teaspoon of glaze onto each cookie. Allow the glaze to set before moving or serving.
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.