Meet your new favorite holiday cookie! Perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's, these soft, chewy dried cranberry-orange cookies with white chocolate chips show off classic seasonal flavors that everyone is sure to love. Plus, they're a breeze to make.
Why You Need to Make This Recipe
Need an easy, versatile cookie recipe that will take you through the holidays? Look no further than these cranberry-orange cookies. Cranberry and orange are always a popular flavor combination from Thanksgiving through New Year’s, so this holiday cookie recipe will have your back for any occasion.
Do yourself a favor and bookmark this recipe because it’s one you will come back to time and time again. I don’t know about you, but I appreciate a trusty, reliable cookie recipe during this busy time of year.
And then there’s the delicious texture. Homemade cookies are at their finest when they’re soft and chewy with perfectly crisp edges and a caramelized bottom. Each buttery bite is filled with loads of sweet white chocolate chips with a welcomed bright pop from our fresh orange zest and tart dried cranberries. Talk about a crowd-pleaser.
Let's make sure we have all the necessary ingredients to make these cranberry-orange cookies.
- All-purpose flour: This is my go-to type of flour for this type of drop cookie.
- Salt: To bring out all the flavors.
- Baking soda: This gives us the lift we need.
- Salted butter: Mmmm, this is our flavor maker.
- White sugar: For the perfect sweet touch.
- Dark brown sugar: I love the richness dark brown sugar adds to cookies, but you can certainly substitute light brown sugar.
- Vanilla extract: This enhances all our sweet flavors.
- Eggs: This is our binder.
- Fresh orange zest: This really makes these cookies something special and adds some zip.
- White chocolate chips: Not a white chocolate fan? They're just as delicious with semisweet or even dark chocolate chips.
- Dried cranberries: I just love the pop of tartness they give these festive cookies.
- Kitchen tools: We need a large mixing bowl, a stand or hand mixer, a spatula, a microplane grater, measuring cups and spoons, parchment paper, a large baking sheet and wire racks.
Baking doesn’t get much simpler than these cranberry and orange cookies, so let’s get to it.
We begin by stirring together our flour, baking soda and salt and setting the mixture aside. In a large mixing bowl, we add our butter, white sugar, brown sugar, fresh orange zest and vanilla extract and beat until it’s light and fluffy like so. Expect for this to take about four minutes or so.
Once we cream together the butter and sugars, we scrape the dough off the side of the bowl and add one egg. We beat just until combined and then repeat with the second egg.
Now we scrape the side of the bowl again and add a couple scoops of the flour mixture. We beat in the flour on low speed until it’s combined, and then we add a little more flour and continue to repeat the cycle until we incorporate all the flour.
All that’s left is to stir in the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries, and we're ready to chill our dough. Chilling the dough only takes 30 minutes, though we could let this process run up to 24 hours. I wouldn’t go longer than that. Any longer and you risk drying out the dough, so an ideal range is 30 minutes to a few hours.
After a good chill, we're ready to bake. We shape our cookie dough into golf-size balls and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet with enough space in between each cookie to spread like so.
We pop the baking sheet in the oven and bake for nine minutes and not a minute more. Trust me. Nine minutes is plenty. We won't get that perfect soft texture if we overbake our cookies.
After these dried cranberry cookies have a couple minutes to cool on the baking sheet, we use a spatula to move them to wire racks to cool. But please do yourself a favor and sneak a cookie or two fresh out of the oven -- it doesn't get much better than that.
Expert Tips and FAQs
- The cranberry-orange cookies will look slightly underbaked when they come out of the oven. This is a good thing. It helps keep them soft and moist -- the cookies will firm as they cool.
- Chilling the dough is an important step, so don’t skip this. It helps solidify the dough to prevent excessive spreading while baking. As a bonus, it also makes for a richer flavor.
- Using a parchment paper-lined baking sheet is also necessary. Without parchment paper, the cranberry-orange cookies could spread too much. A silicone baking sheet also works.
- Room temperature eggs mix into the dough more effectively. Try to set them out 30 minutes before preparing the dough. If you forget, you can place them in warm — not hot — water for five to 10 minutes.
- The softened butter should leave finger imprints when you press into the sides. Your fingers shouldn’t be able to cut through the butter. Leaving the butter on the counter for 30 minutes should do the trick. If you cut the butter into slices, they’ll soften even quicker.
- I recommend making the cookie dough balls about the size of a golf ball. This large size helps keep them extra soft.
- Use a microplane grater rather than a traditional zester for the orange. It gets a finer texture and more intense flavor.
- For an extra pretty cookie, I like to lightly press a few additional white chocolate chips on top of the cookie dough ball right before baking.
- Love cranberry and spice together? Feel free to add a teaspoon of cinnamon and ginger to the dry ingredients. I decided to keep it super simple, but a little spice kick adds a lovely depth of flavor. Plus, it’s always fun to put your own creative spin on recipes. Nutmeg and cardamom also make tasty additions.
You can’t go wrong with a Belgian kriek, which is a cherry-based lambic. The jam-like cherry notes meld into the sweet, tart cranberries, and the puckering quality that comes with lambic beers keeps our palate refreshed.
I love a late-harvest riesling with these white chocolate-cranberry cookies. Late-harvest rieslings stay on the vine longer than other wine grapes, which gives them some residual sweetness. This wine tends to show off stone fruit and honey notes that match nicely with the sweet white chocolate. At the same time, this wine comes with an acidic kick to brighten the richness from our brown sugar and balance every buttery bite.
When you need the perfect holiday treat, I hope you try these dried cranberry-orange cookies with white chocolate chips. Please let me know how you enjoyed this recipe in the comment section and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. You can also catch me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.
Looking for More Holiday Cookie Recipes?
- Spiced holiday chocolate chip cookies
- Ginger-maple cookies with fresh orange zest
- Best brown butter chocolate chip cookies
- Soft gingerbread cookies
- Toasted coconut sugar cookies
Cranberry-Orange Cookies With White Chocolate Chips
- Stand or hand mixer
- Large baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Wire racks
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter softened
- ¾ cup white sugar
- ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or paste
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 2 cups (12-ounce bag) white chocolate chips plus additional for topping if desired
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- In a medium-size bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Cream together the softened butter, white sugar, brown sugar, orange zest and vanilla extract in a stand mixer or mixing bowl with hand mixer until light and fluffy.
- Scrape the creamed butter off the side of the bowl. Add one egg and beat just until combined. Repeat with the second egg. Once both eggs are combined, scrape the dough off the side of the bowl again.
- Add a spoonful or two of the flour mixture at a time and stir or beat on low speed until incorporated. Repeat until all the flour mixture is combined into the dough. Stir in white chocolate chips and dried cranberries.
- Chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, form the dough into golf ball-size dough balls. The large size will keep the cookies extra soft. If you’d like, top with additional white chocolate chips.
- Bake for nine minutes. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for a couple minutes and then move to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies will look underbaked right out of the oven, but they will solidify as they cool. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!
- For full tips, please see blog post.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.