Tender and soft lemony cookies with a POP of fresh cranberry flavor all drizzled with a lemon glaze! Move over dried cranberries. It’s time to add some juicy, tart, fresh cranberries to baked goods. And you can start with these fresh cranberry cookies! Just in time for Christmas.
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Yesterday, I had a great recipe for Ricotta Cannoli Dip. Christmas is often All About The Cookies, but sometimes you don’t want to bake.
Today, it’s Fresh Cranberry Cookies. Yum! A great recipe to make while the fresh cranberries are still in the store.
And tomorrow, I’ll have gluten-free Pignoli Cookies, so no one needs to look sadly at the cookie tray.
A little something for everyone I think, and all from an Italian-American perspective! 🙂
Like most people, I have generally used fresh cranberries for cranberry sauce, but not thought too much of them otherwise. (Though they do make some awesome cranberry margaritas!) It wasn’t until I had a pile of cranberries left in my fridge after doing a few recipes that I wondered ‘why can’t I bake with them?’
And, really, why can’t I?
Have you ever baked with fresh cranberries? Because, if you haven’t, you’ve been missing out like I was! Since it turns out that fresh cranberries make some very tasty and easy cranberry cookies! Perfect for Christmas or Thanksgiving or simply because you want some cookies. 🙂 I personally consider ‘just wanting cookies’ to be an excellent reason to make these!
A few notes about the cookies before we get to the recipe:
For the glaze, I preferred a rustic drizzle from the tip of my spoon. It’s pretty low stress since it’s ‘rustic’, and sweetens the cookies without obscuring the cranberries.
Definitely flatten the cookies a little before baking! They take too long to cook through if you don’t, so the outside gets too brown before the center is set.
Be ready to add the red sanding sugar as soon as you glaze the cookies. Wait too long and it’ll slide right off! However, I did like giving the glaze a couple of minutes to set a little since the sugar didn’t sink in so much.
Oh, and cranberries? Oddly enough, they love to roll around when you are trying to chop them! Use a large cutting board and be ready for escapees as you work. The combo of round and hard makes keeping them in place rather difficult. (And any hopeful dogs will have an interesting surprise when they try the sour cranberries which rolled off to the floor! Mine looked totally betrayed after she ate one.)
– Happy Baking, Annemarie
The fresh cranberries in these fresh cranberry cookies give them such a bright and zingy flavor which is completely different from dried cranberries! Don't just use fresh cranberries for sauce. Make cookies!
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp table salt
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 14 tbsp (7 oz) unsalted butter cool room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped fresh cranberries
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tbsp cream cheese
- red sanding sugar optional
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, table salt, and cornstarch. Set aside.
In a large bowl (or the bowl of a standing mixer), rub the sugar and lemon zest together until the sugar has become lemon scented. Add the butter and beat the sugar and butter together on medium high until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour mixture and mix on low until just blended. Pour the cranberries into the bowl and fold them in with a silicone spatula. Put the cookie dough in the refrigerator and chill for 30-45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart. Gently flatten the tops of the cookies with the bottom of a measuring cup or glass. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, or until cooked through and lightly browned. Transfer the cookies to cooling racks and cool to room temperature.
Whisk together the confectioners' sugar, 2 tbsp lemon juice, lemon zest, and cream cheese until smooth, adding more lemon juice if needed so that the glaze drizzles from the end of a spoon.
Using your spoon, scoop up the glaze and drizzle it over the cookies until all the cookies have some glaze on them. Sprinkle the glazed cookies with red sanding sugar.
- I used a #40 zeroll disher to scoop out the cookies.
- Be careful when chopping the cranberries. They have a tendency to roll around and try to escape.
- You can add the sanding sugar immediately after glazing the cookies, but I prefer how they look if you let the glaze set for a few minutes first. This way the sugar doesn't sink in but sits more on the top of the glaze. Don't wait too long though or the glaze will fully set and the sugar won't stick.