Cranberry Orange Delights
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Each cookie has a sweet cranberry treasure inside and a drizzle of white chocolate or vanilla glaze on top. These cookies are very easy to assemble and will make a pretty presentation on your cookie tray. The sweetened dough is enriched with cream cheese and orange zest, and then rolled out and cut into rounds with a fluted cookie cutter. The cranberry filling is sweetened with a little minced orange along with a pinch of cinnamon and clove. In case you can’t decide between the white chocolate or vanilla drizzle for the finishing touch, I’ve included a recipe for both.
Recipe type: Dessert | Rolled and Cutout Cookies | Filled Cookies
Cranberry Orange Filling:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • ½ fresh orange, peeled, all white membranes removed, finely minced
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/16 teaspoon ground cloves
Tip: Zest the whole orange for the dough ingredients before cutting the orange for the filling. Use a citrus zester for fresh zest.
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest (about 1 orange)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure orange extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Egg Wash:
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
White Chocolate Drizzle:
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) white chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening (optional)
  • Or
Vanilla Glaze Drizzle:
  • 3 cups confectioners' (powdered) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons warm milk
Cranberry Orange Filling:
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water; bring to a boil. Add cranberries and return to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool completely to room temperature.
  2. When filling is cooled, add finely minced fresh orange, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir to thoroughly mix. Set aside. If making ahead, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine flour and salt; whisk together to mix. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl of an electric mixer or using a hand mixer, combine butter, cream cheese and orange zest; beat together on medium speed until mixture is creamy. Add sugar; continue to beat until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly. Add orange extract and vanilla extract, beat until thoroughly mixed. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture, mixing just until combined.
  3. Form dough into two 6-inch flattened disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until well chilled, 1 to 2 hours, or up to 3 days if making in advance.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Baking sheets may be ungreased, lined with parchment paper, or lined with a non-stick baking mat.
  5. On a lightly floured pastry mat or pastry board, and using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll one dough disc to a ⅛ inch thickness. Cut dough into rounds using a 3-inch round cookie cutter with fluted edges that has been dipped in flour (to help prevent dough from sticking to the cutter.) Place rounds on a baking sheet in single layers separated by wax paper and refrigerate. Repeat with the remaining dough, cutting out all the rounds until ready to assemble. Tip: a fluted cookie cutter makes a pretty edge. You can also use an un-fluted cutter or drinking glass or bowl that measures 3”.
Egg Wash:
  1. In a small bowl, combine egg white with sugar, lightly beat with a fork. Set aside.
  1. Remove enough dough rounds from the refrigerator to bake one pan of cookies (about 12 rounds) and place on a pastry or wooden board. Keep remainder of dough rounds in the refrigerator until ready to use. Have a small bowl with water nearby.
  2. Place 1 teaspoon of cranberry filling in the center of each round. From the small bowl of water, lightly moisten the outside edge of each round with your finger to help edges stick together. Gently bring three edges together over the filling, letting a small amount of the filling show. Gently pinch the edges together. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush egg wash over the dough.
  3. Bake: Place cookies about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove cookies from the oven and let cool on the baking sheets 2 to 3 minutes. When they seem firm enough, remove cookies from baking sheets with a metal spatula and place on a wire cooling rack to cool.
White Chocolate Drizzle:
  1. In top of a double boiler over hot water, Melt white chocolate and shortening; stir to combine. Tip: Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with 2 inches of water and bringing it to a simmer. Turn the heat off and place a stainless steel, ceramic, or glass bowl on top of the simmering water, the upper pan should not touch the water.
Vanilla Glaze Drizzle:
  1. In a medium bowl, and using an electric mixer or hand mixer, combine powdered sugar, corn syrup, vanilla. Add warm milk in small quantities, start with 2 tablespoons of milk, then when it’s getting close to the right consistency add milk in teaspoonfuls or just drops of milk at a time, until it is the desired consistency; for drizzling, the icing should be like a thick sour cream.
  2. Spoon the melted chocolate or vanilla Glaze into a small plastic freezer bag. Put a little piece of tape on corner to reinforce the tip, and then roll over top of bag to keep neater. (You could also use a plastic squeeze bottle with a tip available in decorating stores or a pastry bag with a small decorating tip), Twist the top of the bag to create some pressure to make easier to squeeze out. Cut a tiny corner off the tip of the bag.
  3. Drizzle over cookies. Let sit until drizzle is hardened before serving. Tip: When adding drizzle, place cookies on a wire rack with wax paper, parchment paper or paper towels underneath to catch the drips and make cleanup easier.
Recipe Adapted from Taste of the South Magazine, Christmas Cooking Southern Style, 2007
Recipe Notes
Pan: Two Large Baking Sheets Pan Prep: Ungreased or Parchment Lined Oven Temp: 375° Yield: 3 Dozen Storage: Airtight Container, Room Temperature

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