Adapted from my Snowball Cookies, these soft and crumbly Cranberry Spice Cookies have deliciously festive spice flavor. The cookie dough is made from 9 easy ingredients and requires just 1 mixing bowl. There’s only 30 minutes of cookie dough chilling needed, making this a quick cookie recipe.
- 1 cup (2 sticks; 230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup (90g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 and 1/4 cups (281g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 3/4 cup finely chopped dried cranberries*
- 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
- 2–3 Tablespoons (30-45ml) eggnog
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch of ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar then beat on medium-high speed until creamy and combined. Add the vanilla extract, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, salt, flour, and dried cranberries and beat on medium speed until combined. The dough may not come together at first, but keep mixing. The cookie dough will be thick and a little crumbly.
- Cover the cookie dough tightly and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and up to 3 days. (If chilling for 2+ hours, let the cookie dough sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling into balls. The cookie dough will be very stiff after being in the refrigerator that long.)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
- Roll the cookie dough into balls, about 1 scant Tablespoon of dough each, and place dough balls 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. If the cookie dough is too crumbly, keep rolling and working it with your hands. The warmth of your hands will help bring it together.
- Bake the cookies until golden brown on the bottom edges and just barely browned on top, about 14-15 minutes.
- Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack. Make sure cookies are cool to touch before dipping in icing.
- For the icing: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, 2 Tablespoons (30ml) of eggnog, vanilla, and cinnamon together. It will be very thick. Whisk in the remaining Tablespoon of eggnog. Taste. Add a pinch of salt if desired (I always do). Add more confectioners’ sugar to thicken or more eggnog to thin out, if desired.
- Dip cookies in icing and/or drizzle on top. If desired, sprinkle extra cinnamon on top of the icing. If coated lightly, the icing will set after a few hours.
- Cover leftover iced cookies tightly and store at room temperature for 1 day or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Cookies without icing can sit covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- Freezing Instructions: Freeze baked cookies with or without icing for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature. You can also freeze the cookie dough or cookie dough balls for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before baking.
- Confectioners’ Sugar: Use confectioners’ (powdered) sugar. Don’t use granulated sugar. The cookies will over-spread and have a granular texture.
- Dried Cranberries: Use dried cranberries, not fresh or frozen cranberries. Chop the dried cranberries into itty bitty pieces. These cookies are small and we want to make sure there are a lot of cranberries in each bite. The smaller, the better. Dried cranberries are a little sticky, so be patient and use a very sharp knife.
- Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.
Keywords: cranberry cookies, shortbread, Christmas cookies