Hello Somewhat Simple Readers! It’s Jillian from Food, Folks and Fun and I am SO excited to be sharing this recipe for Orange and Cranberry Shortbread Cookies with you!
The combination of orange and cranberry just screams Christmas to me. The crisp, bright flavors are a nice contrast to your typical holiday cookies. These Orange and Cranberry Shortbread Cookies are so pretty, almost a centerpiece in themselves, and pretty easy to make.
This recipe is versatile and the shortbread cookies can be served with a decorative swirl of icing, as a sandwich cookie, or on their own without any icing.
Cook’s Note for Orange and Cranberry Shortbread Cookies:
- Be careful not to over-beat the butter. When making shortbread cookies you do not want to beat a lot of air into the butter, you want more of a dense cookie than a fluffy one!
- If you make these into sandwich cookies, you will only need half of the icing recipe below.
- Frosted cookies will keep, in an air-tight container in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. Remove the cookies from the refrigerator 1 hour before serving.
- This recipe calls for cranberry jam. You can use store-bought or make your own from this recipe.
Orange and Cranberry Shortbread Cookies
For the Shortbread:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup powdered sugar
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange zest (from 1 large orange)
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup corn starch
½ teaspoon salt
For the Icing:
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
¼ cup cranberry jam
2 ¼ cups powdered sugar
whole milk as needed
Sugared Cranberries, optional
For the Shortbread:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl with hand beaters, beat butter on medium speed for 30-60 seconds, or until smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla, and orange zest; beat on medium speed until combined.
- Add flour, cornstarch, and salt and beat until combined. Place the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and form into a round, flat disk. Wrap up the dough and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
- After an hour remove the dough from the refrigerator, and line two cookie sheets with parchment and set aside.
- Lightly flour your counter and roll the dough out to ¼ inch thickness. Use a 2-inch round cookie cutter to cut the dough and place cut dough on the prepared cookie sheets. Chill the cookie sheets in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F while the cookie sheets are chilling. At the end of the 30 minute chill time, pop the cookie sheets into the oven and bake 14-16 minutes or until the cookies start to turn a pale golden color around the edges.
- Cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
For the Icing:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a medium mixing bowl with hand beaters, beat butter until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the cranberry jam and mix until combines, about 30-60 seconds.
- Add the sugar and pulse until combined, then beat on medium until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.
- Transfer the icing to piping bag fitted with a 1M tip and frost cookies. Garnish with a sugared cranberry (optional).
Yields 34 cookies
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas! Please stop by Food, Folks and Fun and check out some of my other Christmas recipes like Porcelain Sugar Cookies and Gingerbread Cheesecake Dip.