Monday, October 4, 2010

Orange Cranberry Cookies

Oooo I love baked goods with citrus. Hazelnut almond cookies (with orange), lemon olive oil cake, lime ginger cookies from Pistacia Vera, orange butter cookies from Amy's Bread, lemon cupcakes from Sprinkles...ok, you get the point.

This is all kind of funny because I do not like citrus fruit. Ok, actually I like clementines, but that's about it. Grapefruit, no thank you. I've never been an orange eater, which is really a shame because growing up we had a beautiful orange tree that gave us hundreds of oranges. My parents gave them away to everyone on our block, because who could possibly eat hundreds of oranges. Especially when your kid is a picky eater and won't touch them with a 10-foot pole. I was on a strict grilled cheese/Eggo waffle/buttered pasta diet when I was little. My mom likes to tell me sometimes how funny it is that I now eat everything, especially raw oysters.

Back to the cookies. Citrus lends such a delicate flavor to cookies and cakes, not at all sour but just a bit of something unexpected rather than a plain sugar cookie or vanilla cupcake. I saw the cranberries at the farmers market before I knew I wanted to make these cookies. I considered bread, muffins, and scones, but I hadn't made these cookies in awhile and thought they could use a little change with the addition of some seasonal fruit.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pint cranberries (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in orange juice and zest.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add to creamed mixture.

Add cranberries and gently mix in with a rubber spatula, so to not break them.

Drop by heaping tablespoons 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

These cookies are really soft and cakey. So after about a day in an airtight container, they get a little bit moist and sticky. They are definitely best eaten the day they're made, but I've never been one to turn down a day-old baked good.

Orange glaze is a nice addition, however it's a bit temperamental. I found that out the hard way after bringing them on a 2+ hour train ride in a ziploc bag. The glaze doesn't fully harden, so they were kind of a mess at the end of the trip. If you're planning on transporting these anywhere I would skip it entirely, or if possible wait to glaze them until you're at your destination. Here's the glaze recipe:

2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Combine ingredients and put into a ziploc bag. Cut a tiny bit of one of the corners off the bag and drizzle over the cookies.

So I didn't do the glaze this time. I wasn't bringing the cookies anywhere, but I wanted to just add the cranberries and call it a day. All this talk about citrus-flavored desserts is reminding me that I want to try making a key lime pie...


  1. I love cranberry! those cookies look delicious!

  2. Thanks Dimah! You should give them a try!