Cranberry Orange Snowball Cookies – Super easy, irresistible, delicate and buttery cookies bursting with the tang of cranberries and the bright zest of orange. A perfect Christmas cookie recipe that everyone will love!
What are cranberry orange snowballs?
Cranberry orange snowballs are delightful bite-sized cookies made with a classic buttery snowball cookie base. These are filled with dried cranberries and flavored with freshly grated orange zest.
Snowballs, also known as Russian tea cakes or Mexican wedding cookies, are small, buttery cookies that are rolled in powdered sugar, which gives them a white, snow-like appearance. They are often made with pecans or walnuts and have a crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
These cookies have a wonderful blend of sweet, tart, bright citrusy flavors which makes them perfect for the holidays.
Why you’ll love this recipe:
Super easy and fun to make!
Super simple and doesn’t require complex techniques or ingredients.
Perfect for special occasions, especially during the holiday season!
It’s a freezer friendly cookie recipe!
Makes a wonderful edible gift!
Ingredients & Substitutions:
Flour – Plain flour or all purpose flour is the base of the cookie dough. You could also use whole wheat flour but the texture of the baked cookie will be vary.
Butter – have used softened unsalted butter in this recipe. It can be replaced with margarine but the flavor and texture might vary slightly. Make sure the butter is at room temperature before making the dough. Replace it with vegan butter if you are looking for a plant-based cookie recipe.
Dried Cranberries – I do not recommend fresh cranberries for this recipe. Try to use high quality dried cranberries for the best results. Chop them before adding to the dough. Dried cherries, blueberries, or raisins could replace cranberries if desired.
Orange Zest – Do not skip adding orange zest, it adds a wonderful citrus flavor to the cookies. You can substitute it with lemon zest though.
Powdered Sugar – Also known as confectioners sugar. If you don’t have it, grind sugar into a smooth powder.
Vanilla – Adds a wonderful flavor to the cookies. You can also use other extracts like almond or lemon for a different flavor.
Salt – Skip it if you are using salted butter.
Once the cookies are completely cooked, store them in an airtight container at room temperature. They’ll stay fresh for about a week at room temperature.
You can also freeze them for up to 2 months. Once the cookies are baked and rolled in powdered sugar, arrange them in an airtight container and separate the layers with parchment papers and store in the freezer. Let them thaw at room temperature and roll them in some powdered sugar again before serving.
You can also store the unbacked cookie dough in the refrigerator for couple of days. If you want to store it for longer period of time, wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap, then place it in a freezer safe bag or airtight container. Thaw in the refrigerator before using. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Serve them with hot beverages like tea, coffee or hot cocoa. The contrast between the sweet-tart cookies and a warm drink is delicious.
Add these cookies to your holiday cookie platter.
These can be a perfect edible gift during the festive season.
Tips & Notes:
Use a good quality butter and other ingredients for the best flavor.
When zesting the orange, be cautious to only get the outer, orange colored part of the peel, avoiding the bitter white pith underneath.
Feel free to experiment with difference citrus flavors like lemon or lime instead of orange.
Use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to portion out the dough, ensuring uniform sizes for even baking.
DO NOT skip chilling the dough. Refrigerating the shaped dough balls for an hour before baking can prevent excessive spreading while baking.
Be careful not to overbake them.
You will need to roll the baked ones in powdered sugar while they are still warm.
If you want to make super white snowball cookies, roll them twice in powdered sugar.
Feel free to customize by adding nuts or spices to suit your taste.
Step by step instructions:
Combine softened butter and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix until light and creamy.
Add vanilla extract and salt. Mix well.
Add flour and orange zest to the butter-sugar mixture and gently mix everything.
Add chopped cranberries to the butter-flour mixture.
Mix everything well to make a soft dough.
Wrap the prepared dough with cling film and chill it in the refrigerator for an hour or until the dough is firm.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper and keep it aside.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for few minutes for easy rolling.
Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, take a portion of the chilled dough.
Roll the dough into 1 inch small balls.
Repeat the process with remaining dough and arrange them on the lined baking sheet.
Let them bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until the bottom of cookies are slightly browned at 180 degrees C.
Once they are baked, take them out of the oven and let them cool down a bit.
While the baked cookies are still warm, roll them in powdered sugar.
Arrange them on a wire rack and let them cool completely.
Once they are cooled, roll them again in the powdered sugar for super white snowballs.
Serve and enjoy!
You might love these Holiday recipes:
- Lemon Snowballs
- Cherry Winks
- Red Hot Cinnamon Apples
- Peppermint Kiss Cookies
- Cherry Snowballs
- Lemon Meltaways
- Easter Popcorn
- Peppermint White Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Greek Koulourakia
- Chocolate Nonpareils
How to make cranberry orange snowballs recipe below:
Cranberry Orange Snowball Cookies
- ½ Cup Unsalted Butter, softened
- ¼ Cup Powdered Sugar (for the dough)
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ½ Cup Chopped Dried Cranberries
- 1 Tablespoon Orange Zest
- 1 Cup All Purpose Flour / Plain Flour
- ½ Cup Powdered Sugar (to coat the baked cookies)
- Combine butter and powdered sugar in a bowl and mix until light and creamy.
- Add vanilla and salt. Mix until well combined.
- Add measured flour and orange zest to the creamed butter and mix well using a spatula.
- Add chopped cranberries and mix everything to make a smooth dough.
- Wrap the prepared dough with cling film and refrigerate it for an hour or until the dough becomes firm.
- Once it is chilled, take it out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for few minutes.
- Roll the chilled dough into small 1-inch size round balls.
- Arrange them on a lined baking tray. Let them bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until the bottom of cookies are slightly browned at 180 degrees C.
- Once they are baked, take them out of the oven and allow them to cool down a bit.
- When the baked cookies are still warm, roll them in powdered sugar.
- Once cooled, roll them again in powdered sugar for super white snowballs.
- Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition values are estimates only.