Recipe: Cranberry Orange Melt-Away Cookies
These cookies are very good and a must try! Just as they sound, they are a tender citrus orange cookie studded with dried cranberries. They are extremely flavorful. If you are a fan of cranberry orange, you too will fall in love with these cookies. They are a great addition to any holiday cookie tray.
This recipe was adapted from Six Sisters Orange Creamsicle Cookies: Six Sisters Orange Creamsicle Cookies.
I can definitely taste the creamsicle in these cookies. I will certainly make these this coming summer. As a child I absolutely adored creamsicles (remember the ice cream treat on a stick with orange sherbet and an ice cream center?). They were for sure in my top 5 favorite ice cream treats growing up.
I recently made these cookies for an amazing girl’s night party. Ten of us ladies who used to work together at a small advertising agency in Minneapolis got together for a fun night! We had wine, great food, some amazing belly laughs and a cry or two. It was such a good time…I adore & miss them all! The ladies enjoyed the cookies…and one person in particular mentioned the creamsicle flavor even before I mentioned it. So take my word for it – they taste like a creamsicle.
These cookies would also be terrific with dark chocolate chips in place of the dried cranberries. What a versatile & easy cookie to try!
<Scroll all the way to the bottom for a standard printable recipe>
Above are the ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, butter, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, egg, vanilla extract, orange zest, orange extract, white chocolate chips, and dried cranberries.
Preheat your oven to 375° F (190°C).
Now this next step is not necessary; however it does add an extra sum’n sum’n. It rehydrates the dried cranberries and if you use orange juice you add another layer of orangy flavor. I took my dried cranberries and added about 1/4 cup orange juice and allowed them to soak overnight in the fridge. You can also soak in water, but whatever you use – soak for at least 5 minutes – but overnight is even better.
Next it’s time to measure the flour. It’s always best to measure out the flour using the “scoop and level” or “scoop and sweep” method. This involves scooping the ingredients into the measuring cup and then sweeping off the excess of the ingredient at top of measuring cup – using a long, flat utensil, like a knife, bench scraper, etc. If you do this over a paper towel or clean kitchen towel, you can easily add back to your ingredient bin (as not to waste). If you do not do this, you risk getting way too much flour than your recipe calls for (net, net, a dry loaf). So after you’ve scooped and fluffed the flour around a bit to loosen/lighten, take any stiff flat edge and sweep across your measuring cup for the most accurate reading.
Measure carefully the baking soda and then the kosher salt and add to the bowl with the flour. Be careful not to mound the measuring spoons – level off them just as you did with the flour to get the most accurate reading.
To sift the dry ingredients, simply whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Then set aside.
Next it’s time to start the wet ingredients. Add the 2 sticks of butter to a large mixing bowl.
Then add in the brown and granulated sugars.
Now add the beater blade to your mixer and get ready to mix the butter and sugars together. This part of the recipe can easily be whisked by hand or by using a large wooden spoon – with a strong arm. I love my mixer though and use it often.
No matter what you use, the butter/sugar mixture should look whippy and smooth – like what you see above.
Now add in the egg…
…the vanilla extract and orange extract.
And you guessed it…mix it! It should look even creamier and whippier than before with the addition of the egg.
As you may know, the zest of the orange comes from the outermost orange colored part of the skin. It contains all of the flavorful and aromatic oils. To zest the orange, take your microplane or fine grater and hold upright to catch the zest <as shown>. Just move the orange around, not the tool. You’ll get about 1 Tablespoon of zest from one orange. TIP: To ensure you don’t lose the precious zest, do your zesting over a paper towel and then add to the mixing bowl.
Add your orange zest and mix for about 5-10 seconds, until just combined.
Now it’s time to add the dry ingredients. Here’s the stage where it’s important NOT to over-mix. Add one cup and mix for 10-15 seconds; repeat with the remaining flour, adding one cup at a time.
Your cookie batter should look thick like the picture above.
Add the white chocolate chips to the mixing bowl.
Completely drain the soaked cranberries and add them to the cookie batter.
Mix either by hand or for 5 seconds maximum using your mixer. If you’re afraid of over-mixing (which will make a tough cookie) mix in the chips/cranberries by hand.
Drop by spoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets (for easy cleanup and cookies that don’t stick, use a silpat or parchment paper). Do not flatten cookies or they may get tough.
I froze most of the cookies. I filled a large rimmed sheet pan with pre-scooped cookie dough. I then put the tray in the freezer overnight. In the morning I was able to take each cookie ball off the tray and put in a resealable freezer bag. It’s a great way to make ahead cookie dough for when you need it later. Just pull the cookie dough balls out of the freezer and place on cookie sheet (do not thaw). Bake frozen and bake a bit longer than you would fresh cookie dough (bake about 14 minutes – but use color as a guide vs. time).
The batch I was baking to eat right away I placed on a silpat lined baking sheet and placed the cookie dough about 2 inches apart. I baked them at 375° F (190°C) for around 10 minutes.
The cookies should start to show a slight brown color on the edges. These are ready to come out of the oven. Remember to keep them directly on the cookie sheet for 2-minutes after they come out of the oven. This helps prevent the cookies from breaking or falling apart when they are removed from the cookie sheet.
Cool completely on a cooling rack.
These will not only taste divine, but their aroma is captivating. I hope you give these Cranberry Orange Melt-Away Cookies a try!
Enjoy the comfort of food!
PS: If you see mistakes (i.e., spelling errors or inconsistencies in the recipe), please tell me right away. I appreciate any help I can get!