These White Chocolate Cranberry Orange Cookies are perfect for a holiday cookie exchange. They are crispy on the edges and soft in the middle.
Whelp, I just got back from a long weekend in Chicago for the annual BlogHer Food (BHF) conference, This was my third time attending the conference and this year was especially awesome. I met new friends I’ve communicated with online and spent time getting to know other friends on a deeper level. As expected there was a lot of laughter, some tears and more food that I knew what to do with.
You have heard me talk before that online friends are “real friends”. It can be a bit difficult for other to understand how friendships form. Here’s the difference. The first time you meet your “online friend”, they are instantly your best friend. It’s not at all like meeting a stranger for the first time and having to get to know them. I am fortunate to walk away from this weekend having had the opportunity to get to know my real friends a bit better.
What do friends do for other friends? Send them cookies! It’s one of my favorite parts of the holidays. I usually bake up a bunch of different cookies and ship them out across the county.
When I was younger, my mom started a cookie exchange amongst the mothers in my group of friends. Over the years it grew to be bigger and bigger. I was always excited to see what my mom brought home from the cookie exchange! I laid claim to the peanut butter blossom cookies and an array of mint chocolate anything.
This year, my friends over at Better Homes and Gardens are hosting the world’s largest cookie exchange via the world wide web. They sent me some cute little tags for my cookies, which you can download from here.
For the cookie exchange, I am sharing these White Chocolate Cranberry Orange Cookies. I have to say, I could NOT stop eating these cookies. I started my cranberry-orange phase last Christmas when I made this bread, this cake and then a bark recipe.
I have to say, I enjoyed these cookies better once they were completely cooled. These cookies are crispy on the edges and soft and chewy in the middle; just the way a cookie should be. They are flavored with orange zest and packed full of cranberries. I finished them off with a drizzle of white chocolate. For the white chocolate, I prefer to use a candy melt white chocolate instead of chocolate chips because it is nice and thin, and sets quickly on the cookie.
The cookie base is actually a snickerdoodle, but I skipped rolling them in the cinnamon sugar. This dough does need to be refrigerated for at least 30 minutes. You really should not skip this step because flat pancake-like cookies are not nearly as pretty. I also used a large cookie scoop because I like big cookies, but if you use a smaller cookie scoop, you will get way more cookies from a batch of dough.
My favorite way to ship cookies is in a cookie tin so that they stay fresh. However, I am known to raid the Target $1 section for cute boxes and fun stuff to pack up my holiday treats.
Whether you are heading to a cookie exchange, or sending cookies to your love ones, this is a great, pretty easy cookie to add to your recipe box! Happy Holidays, my friends!
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- 1 C (2 sticks) Unsalted butter
- 2 C Sugar
- 2 Large eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 3 C Flour
- ½ tsp Baking soda
- ½ tsp Cream of tartar
- 1 cup Cranberries, dried and sweetened
- Zest of 1 medium orange
- 2-3 oz White chocolate candy melts
- 1 tbsp Crisco or other vegetable shortening
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Combine butter with sugar and beat on medium speed until well creamed together.
- Add eggs, vanilla and vanilla extract. Mix into butter and sugar until eggs are well beaten.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Slowly add into batter and beat on medium-low speed until dough starts to form. Add dried cranberries and orange zest and mix just until combined.
- Refrigerate dough for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
- Use a large cookie scoop (3 tbsp) and scoop cookie dough onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Place about 2 inches apart. Bake at 350° F for 10-12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for several minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once cooled, melt white chocolate and Crisco in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30-90 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds until white chocolate is smooth. Drizzle over cooled cookies. Allow white chocolate to harden to room temperature.
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Recipes from my friends:
White Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread from Mom on Timeout
Chocolate Peppermint Shortbread from Life Love and Sugar
Eggnog Cookie Bark from Taste and Tell
50 Christmas Candy Recipes from Chocolate Chocolate and More