Cranberry Christmas Cookies are filled with an abundance of fresh tart cranberries balanced by a buttery sweet cookie.
This is not a classically crisp or chewy cookie. I created this cookie specifically to mimic everyone’s favorite Cranberry Christmas Cake.
I’ve been making these cookies regularly since last Christmas and I am so very excited to finally be sharing the recipe with you!
With or without the glaze, eaten warm from the oven or three days later, these cookies are everything I love about the much-loved Cranberry Cake wrapped into a perfectly sweet, slightly tart cookie.
It’s a handheld, slightly chewy, little bit crispy, cake-like cookie. These cookies are exactly what I crave when I don’t want to be left with an entire cake on hand.
I like to mix up a batch of these cookies, portion it into cookie dough balls and then flash freeze them.
Once frozen, store in an airtight container or zipclose freezer bag. Place the frozen cookie dough balls on a baking tray and bake as directed below, adding an additional 4 minutes for the frozen dough.
There is an optional glaze included with this recipe. I’ve made these cookies repeatedly both with and without the glaze. I honestly can not decide which way I like them best!
The glaze is lightly tart with fresh lemon juice, but still serves to sweeten the cookies a bit. I recommend making the cookies a couple of times and seeing what your favorite cookie turns out to be!
Cookie Baking Tips
Please note that there is no baking soda or baking powder needed in this recipe. The extended beating time for the eggs provides the necessary leavening for the cake.
You must beat the eggs until the batter forms a “ribbon” off of the beaters. Do not shorten or skip the beating process. (This is a crucial step for this recipe!)
Cranberry Cookie Recipe
You will use fresh, raw cranberries for this recipe. They will soften and burst as the cookies bake. There is a good bit of sugar in this recipe and it balances the tartness of the cranberries.
I buy multiple bags of cranberries whenever they’re available in the grocery stores and toss them directly into my freezer.
Sure, you can make them with dried cranberries, but you that will NOT result in the same amazing cookie. It will be tasty, but not remotely the same.
How To Use Frozen Cranberries
My preference for this recipe is actually frozen cranberries, though it will work with cranberries straight from the refrigerator as well.
I use frozen cranberries almost every time I make these cookies. The dough will “freeze” up a bit when adding the frozen cranberries.
This is a good thing though, as the cold dough is easier to work with than the softer dough.
Cranberry Dessert Recipes
If you enjoy desserts made with fresh cranberries as much as we do, you’ll want to check out all of these Cranberry Desserts!
Nantucket Christmas Cranberry Pie is filled to bursting with fresh cranberries and pecans. Served warm, topped with cold melting ice cream, it’s a guaranteed win.
Winter Spice Cranberry Cake is an absolutely perfect cake that takes very little effort to make. There’s no icing, no topping, nothing else is required. This is one of the easiest cakes you will ever make!
That Winter Spice Cranberry Cake is inspired by our much beloved Cranberry Christmas Cake. That cake has become one of the most popular recipes on this website, definitely a reader favorite.
Rich chocolate brownies generously filled with tart cranberries and crunchy pecans add up to the Cranberry Pecan Brownies that make everyone who tries them grin.
This tart Cranberry Ice Cream caught my eye last year and I have it on my need-to-try list now. I love making fun holiday ice creams. (You know ice cream isn’t just for summer, right? Try this Peppermint Ice Cream or this Caramel Crunch Pumpkin Ice Cream for proof of that.)
Last but not least, this Cranberry Apple Tart is filled with fresh cranberries and apple slices that are mixed with brown sugar and spices. Made with a store-bought crust or your favorite homemade pie crust recipe, this is a simple tart that delivers a terrific result.
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 12 oz fresh cranberries (cranberries that have been frozen work best, but cold from the fridge work as well)
Optional Glaze Ingredients
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar until slightly thickened and light in color, about 5-7 minutes. The mixture should almost double in size. The eggs work as your leavening agent in this recipe, so do not skip this step. This mixture should form a ribbon when you lift the beaters out of the bowl.
- Add the soft butter and vanilla; mix two more minutes. Stir in the flour until just combined. Add the cranberries and stir to mix throughout.
- Use a 2 tablespoon scoop or a spoon to portion out the cookie dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place only six cookies on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 18 minutes, until the cookies have puffed up and turned golden brown on the edges. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before transfering to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- To glaze the cookies, stir together the powdered sugar and lemon juice. It should drizzle off the spoon in a thick white stream. Lightly drizzle the cookies and allow them to fully set before storing.