Cranberry-Orange Shortbread Cookies {Freezer Meal}

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 12 minute
  • Total Time: 3 hours 12 minute
  • Yield: 24 cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


A buttery-rich and fresh twist on a shortbread cookie. The cranberry-orange combination brings a fresh flavor that is complimented by the buttery goodness of a shortbread cookie. A crowd pleaser!


  • 2½ cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar, divided
  • 1 cup butter, cubed (and cold)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 orange (I used 4 clementines)
  • ½ cup dried cranberries (Craisins)
  • additional sugar to coat cookies before baking if desired


  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Add cranberries and ¼ cup of sugar into a food processor and process just until the cranberries are broken down into smaller pieces. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour and remaining sugar. Give it a stir.
  4. Use a pastry blender to cut in butter. You want very fine crumbs. If you don’t have a pastry blender, just used your hands!
  5. Stir in the vanilla, processed cranberries and and orange zest.
  6. Use your hands to knead the dough until it comes together and forms a ball. Work the dough JUST until it comes together – you don’t want to over-work it.
  7. Shape dough into a log about two inches in a diameter and wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper with plastic wrap on top of that. Refrigerate for two hours or up to 72 hours or freeze at this point.
  8. When ready to cook, thaw (if necessary) and cut slices of cookie dough about ¼-1/2 inch thick.
  9. Place about a half a cup of sugar in a bowl and coat the cookie slices with sugar (optional).
  10. Place cookies on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 325 for 10-12 minutes or just until cookies are set. Do not over bake. Since I cut mine about 1/2 inch thick, mine took 12 minutes. If you cut them thinner, decrease cooking time.
  11. Let cookies cool for several minutes on baking sheet before removing to cooling rack. Let cool completely.
  12. Store in airtight container for 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.


Freezer Meal Instructions:

To Freeze:
Roll dough in to loaf/log shape. Wrap in plastic wrap and then a layer of press and seal, if possible. Put dough in freezer and store for up to 3 months.

To Prepare:
Let dough thaw in refrigerator overnight and cook as directed.