I. ABSOLUTELY LOVE. CHRISTMAS COOKIES. I mean, what’s not to love?
It’s cookies. During my favorite time of year. And you get to give them to people to make them smile.
IT’S ALL THE BEST THINGS!!!
But as much as I love them, I haven’t participated in the Christmas cookie tradition since I was younger and we would make them as a family for the neighborhood. 😢
Last year for the holidays, one of our clients at my day job sent us a basket of different kinds of desserts and treats. I really wanted one of the brownies, but the vultures at my office had eaten them all before I could get one (love you guys!), so I tried a cookie instead.
That cookie was an cranberry orange white chocolate chip cookie, and it was DELICIOUS.
I didn’t get around to making Christmas cookies last year (well, at least not until the end of January), but if I had, I knew that some version of these cranberry orange cookies needed to be a part of it.
This year, I decided to be intentional about making the time for Christmas cookies. I really wanted a session of relaxing and rewarding baking, and to have treats to share with people I care about. Plus, I was determined to try my own version of those cookies… but with a little twist.
One of my favorite holiday desserts is gingerbread.
The warm spices, the fragrant molasses… It all tastes so much of Christmas to me!
So this year I’m pairing cranberry orange white chocolate cookies (minus the white chocolate) with holiday gingerbread to get these Cranberry Orange Molasses Cookies that are out. of. this. world.
These fluffy cookies are so soft, so spiced, and so good! The zesty bursts of bright orange are a wonderful complement to the traditional gingerbread seasonings, and the cranberries add a tart, vibrant burst of flavor to every bite.
The softness of these cookies rival those famous soft, frosted cookies from the grocery store (but obviously 1,000x more delicious). I made mine small because I knew I couldn’t eat just one… or even two… and I don’t have any business eating three LARGE cookies. 🙈 But you can make your cookies whatever size you’d like!
You can make soft little bites, bigger soft cookies, or you can press your cookie rounds down a bit before baking and get a cookie that’s a little flatter and a teensy bit crisper. You can roll them in sugar for a glittery sweet outside, or leave them simply as they are.
Any way you bake them (or eat the dough with a spoon, no judgement!) you’ll love these cookies!
- 3/4 cup butter
- 3/4 brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon salt (double if using unsalted butter)
- zest of 1 orange
- 1/2 cup dried, unsweetened cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large, high-walled bowl if you're using a hand mixer), add the butter and brown sugar. Mix them together until evenly combined and the mixture is fluffy and creamy.
- Add the vanilla, molasses, and the egg. Mix until evenly combined.
- Add all of the dry ingredients and beat them in gently until the dough is blended evenly. Remove the bowl from the stand and fold in the orange zest and cranberries until evenly distributed.
- (For fluffy cookies, refrigerate the dough for 30-60 minutes.) Scoop out the cookie dough into even portions(I use a tablespoon measure). Roll each portion into a small ball and place them on a cookie sheet with one inch of space in between.
- Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are browning and the cookies are cooked through. Enjoy!!!