Cranberry Orange Almond Cookies
I’ve been making these Cranberry Orange Almond Cookies since Birdie was a tiny little girl…she has her own tiny little girl now so that’s a long time! She used to beg me to make these any time she saw cranberries in the grocery store so I started buying several bags of them and freezing them so I had what I needed all Winter long. It’s tough to tell a cute little girl she can’t have cookies! I have no idea why it’s so difficult to get fresh cranberries when it’s not holiday time but they go so fast. I guess everyone is doing what I’m doing and making a run on cranberries. So now I prepare. I probably have 10 bags in my freezer right now. I posted a picture on Instagram a while back of me buying bags of cranberries and I buy two bags every trip to the store. They freeze perfectly by the way.
I made them this time for the Dixie Crystals Bake It Forward campaign. You can find all the details here. I’m going to a conference in a couple of weeks call Mixed and I’m so excited. I mean the excitement just keeps building as it gets closer. I know it sounds strange maybe to some of you? You probably think a bunch a weird blogger people all sitting in a room talking about blogs sounds boring but that’s not at all the way it’ll be! It’s at the beautiful Mountain Lake Resort where they filmed Dirty Dancing so that makes it awesome on it’s own. However, the line-up of speakers (Duff Goldman – Ace of Cakes, Marian Poirier- Sweetopia, Bree Grossman – Baked Bree, Tami Hardeman – Running with Tweezers, Heidi Larsen – Foodie Crush,Denise Woodward & Lenny Ferreira – Chez Us) is stellar! The sponsors (OXO, Kitchenaid, Le Creuset, Dixie Crystals, Dreamfield’s Pasta to name a few) are showering us with all kinds of goodies! And I’ll meet so many wonderful people…I actually already have. We’ll eat great food and watch Dirty Dancing and generally just commune with like-minded people. It’s going to be a blast. So, see why I’m so excited?
I’m sharing my Cranberry Orange Almond cookies with you because well, I love ya and also because there’s a contest. I’ll submit my cookies and Dixie Crystals will pick the top three submissions. Once we get to the conference, there’ll be a BAKE-OFF!! Yes, you read it right. I am oh so terribly intimidated by that but my competitiveness and overpowering need to win is taking over so I’m putting myself and my cookies out there. Let’s see what happens! Yikes!!
Let’s get to it! I have a lot of pictures today. I’m trying to find my picture voice. Do we like dark or light? I’m leaning towards the darker backgrounds but just bear with me as I experiment. As always, I’m open to suggestions!
There’s really no rhyme or reason to the order of these either. I just grabbed things off the counter. Looking back I”ll do them in the order they’re used in the recipe from now on I think. Anyway, The stars of the show are the cranberries and the orange zest so I’ll start with those. Maybe that’s what I was thinking? These cookies are sweet but not too sweet and then you get this tartness from the cranberries that’s just a perfect little surprise! Well, not a huge surprise because duh…Cranberry Orange cookies, right? And here’s a little tip. When using any kind of citrus zest and sugar combination, if you’ll put the zest right into your sugar and rub it around really well with your fingers, it’ll really bring out the zest flavors and gets the oils all over the sugar. It’s a must whenever you can!
I toasted the almonds to bring out the nuttiness. I’ve found that if I toast them in a saucepan on the stove I don’t burn them. I’m notoriously bad about burning nuts and bread. I think it’s a conspiracy!
I use a good bit of Dixie crystals brown sugar because of it’s richness. The cranberries can take it. And I add two tablespoons of honey for more flavor and moistness.
I use almond extract and orange flavoring but if you don’t have good orange flavoring just bump up your orange zest.
These Cranberry Orange Almond Cookies get a crispy edge to them when they cook but have a cake-like middle that’s just barley chewy. It’s the perfect combination.
Now, take a look at this baking powder. Notice (how can you not, right?) the aluminum free part? I’ve learned if you don’t buy aluminum free that sometimes your baked goods can come out with a “tinny” or metal taste and anything that has blue or red ingredients won’t come out looking the way you want them to.
Here’s a picture I took last night. You can tell it’s a night time picture which I try to steer clear of since artificial lighting is so yellow, but here you go anyway. Cookies on parchment.
Well, that’s about it. This recipe is really pretty simple. Most cookies are easy to make. Just put it all in a bowl and mix it up. Plop them on a baking sheet and bake for a few. Done!
There’s a good reason why my kid used to beg for these. They’re amazing! Well, and she has great taste…just like me! 😀
Ok. Enough from me. Enjoy! Here’s the printable:
- 2 1/2 sticks butter, softened
- 1 cup Dixie Crystals brown sugar
- 1/2 cup Dixie Crystals granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon orange flavoring
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups fresh cranberries, roughly chopped
- 1 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
- In a large mixing bowl, add sugars and orange zest and rub together to distribute the oils from the zest.
- Add butter and cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
- Add honey, orange juice and mix until combined.
- Add eggs, one at a time and mix just until blended.
- Stir in almond extract and orange flavoring.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
- In stages, add to butter mixture and mix only until incorporated.
- Take handfuls of the almonds and gently crush so that the pieces are a little broken.
- Fold in cranberries and almonds.
- Drop by rounded tablespoon full onto parchment lined cookie sheets.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 11-13 minutes.
What’s your favorite holiday cookie recipe? Want to share? Let’s #BakeItForward!