The most festive Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies with White Chocolate Frosting. Rich, melt in your mouth, perfectly sweetened shortbread cookies flavored with vanilla and orange, studded with dried cranberries and walnuts and topped with white chocolate frosting. They’re easy to make and can be sliced or cut into wreaths and other holiday shapes!
Made with orange zest AND rich white chocolate frosting, these Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies with White Chocolate Frosting have something for every cookie fan! They’re rich and at the same time fresh tasting thanks to the orange! Bonus! They couldn’t be easier to make!
THE BEST SHORTBREAD COOKIE RECIPE
I’m that person who has bought a shirt in two colors if I like it! I’m also the person who will make multiple recipes out of one VERY good shortbread recipe…enter this shortbread cookie recipe.
It started a year ago when I made these Lemon Pistachio Shortbread Cookies. Not only did I love the add ins, I became obsessed with the dough itself. How could something so easy be so delicious?!
Naturally I had to try the recipe with chocolate. These Shortbread Cookies with Chocolate Chip Cookies and Chocolate Almond Toffee Slice and Bake Cookies prove that this recipe also works well with chocolate!
WHAT INGREDIENTS DO I NEED TO MAKE THESE COOKIES?
This recipe can’t not taste good since it starts with two sticks of butter and some powdered sugar. Here’s what else is in it:
- Unsalted Butter: two sticks!
- Powdered Sugar
- Orange Zest
- Orange Juice
- Vanilla Extract
- 1 Egg Yolk
- Dried Cranberries: Finely chopped. This makes it easier to slice or cut the cookies out. Also, more bits means there’s more cranberry throughout!
- Walnuts: Also finely chopped.
HOW TO PREPARE THE DOUGH
- Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until fluffy. Add the orange zest, juice, and vanilla, followed by the egg yolk. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
- Turn the dough out onto the counter top and form the dough. The dough will feel like play dough and will be very easy to shape!
HOW TO SHAPE THE DOUGH
There are two options for shaping the dough/cutting out the cookies. The first option is to roll the dough into a log, chill it then slice it. The other option is to roll the dough out, chill it then cut it out in shapes.
For my other shortbread cookie recipes, I shaped into a 10 inch log, chilled it, then sliced it. This is probably the simplest way to make them.
ROLL THEM OUT
Since it’s the holidays, I rolled my dough out so I could use cookie cutters. To do this, divide the dough in half once it’s mixed. The dough is soft and almost feels like play dough. I find it easier to roll it out before chilling it. The only challenge is to try not to add too much flour when rolling it out.
Roll out each half on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper. (Only add as little flour as needed to prevent it from sticking). Roll each half out to a 1/4 inch thickness. Place each half on a tray and cover each tray with plastic wrap. Chill for two hours.
Once the dough has chilled, run a bench scraper or a large knife gently under the cookie dough to help unstick it from the parchment paper. This will help you lift the cookies off the paper once you cut them out.
After cutting your cookies out, place them all on a baking sheet and chill them again. This second chilling will help the cookies firm up and keep them from spreading too much while baking.
WHAT COOKIE CUTTERS DO I USE
Use any cookie cutter you want to use! I was in the mood for wreaths and trees when I made these, but they would be sweet with any type of cookie cutter, for any holiday or any time of the year!
ADD A FILLING IF YOU LIKE
The natural filling for these cranberry cookies was, of course, cranberry sauce! I used my cranberry sauce recipe from my Orange Cranberry Pound Cake. You can also use store bought cranberry sauce. You can also choose not to add any filling.
WHITE CHOCOLATE FROSTING
For my Lemon Pistachio Shortbreads, I dredged the cookies in melted white chocolate. If you want a super simple topping, melted white chocolate works perfectly! If you have about five minutes to spare, however and want a real treat of a topping, I recommend white chocolate frosting.
You can pipe it on with a piping bag and small round tip. If you don’t have a piping tip, you can just fill up a zip lock sandwich bag and snip off a little bit of a corner. Twist the top to make sure the frosting doesn’t spill out.
Pipe the frosting anyway you like! You can outline the cookies, draw on them, or just grab a spoon or a knife and spread it on.
PIPE IT ON OR FROST THEM?
Both are great options! These cookies are so pretty, so I decided to pipe mine on. Piping it on meant my cookies got some yummy white chocolate frosting but you could still see the cranberries and orange zest in the dough!
Beyond excited for you to make these Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies with White Chocolate Frosting. They’re easy and fun to make and are incredibly delicious! and bursting with flavor! Perfect for Christmas or anytime of the year!Print
These Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies with White Chocolate Frosting are easy and fun to make and incredibly delicious to eat! Perfect for Christmas or anytime of the year!
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 3 teaspoons orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
- sprinkles, any kind, optional
- extra dried cranberries, optional for decoration (see visual above of wreath)
FOR THE WHITE CHOCOLATE FROSTING*
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 5 ounces white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
FOR THE CRANBERRY SAUCE FILLING, OPTIONAL
- One recipe cranberry sauce from this Orange Cranberry Pound Cake
FOR THE COOKIES
- Sift together the flour and salt and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until fluffy. Add the orange zest, juice and vanilla followed by the egg yolk. On low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
- Turn the dough out onto the counter top.
- IF YOU’RE ROLLING THE DOUGH INTO A LOG: form the dough into a 10 inch log. Roll it in plastic wrap and chill the dough for about 2 hours or until firm. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice the cookie dough into rounds about 1/4″ in size. Place them on the prepared baking sheets about 1 ” apart. If making cranberry wreaths, gently press dried cranberries in the dough once cookies have been cut out and before chilling them. Continue to step 5.
- IF ROLLING OUT THE DOUGH: Once the dough has been mixed, divide it in half. Roll each half out on sheets of parchment paper lightly dusted with flour. Roll out to a circle about 1/4 inch thick. Place each circle on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and chill two hours in the refrigerator. Once chilled, take the dough out of the fridge. Lift the parchment paper off the tray and onto the counter. Run a long knife carefully between the parchment paper and the cookie dough. Use cookie cutters to cut out the cookies. Place the cookies on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. If making cranberry wreaths, gently press dried cranberries in the dough once cookies have been cut out and before chilling them. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes. Continue to step 5.
- Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes until the edges just begin to turn golden brown. Let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes then transfer them to racks to cool completely.
FOR THE WHITE CHOCOLATE FROSTING
Beat together the powdered sugar and butter together with an electric mixer until light and smooth, 4-5 minutes. Add the vanilla, a pinch of salt and the melted white chocolate and beat until just combined.
TO DECORATE THE COOKIES
Transfer half the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a small tip or ziplock bag and snip a very small portion of the corner off the bag. Pipe the icing on. Alternatively, use a knife to spread it on.
*Makes a little over a cup of frosting. If you pipe the frosting on, you will have some leftover. Use it to top your favorite cookies, cake, or cupcakes.
Keywords: shortbread, orange, zest, juice, cranberries, cranberry, white chocolate, walnuts