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Cranberry Orange White Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Decadent Cranberry Orange White chocolate Thumbprint Cookies. A sweet sugar cookie recipe with sweet cranberries and citrus orange flavor. Each cookie is stuffed with white chocolate and topped with a sweet glaze. A delicious holiday cookie to add to your repertoire.

Cranberry White Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies - round cookies in a stack of four. Cookies have pieces of dried cranberries and some orange zest pieces. Stacked on a piece of golden brown burlap with fresh cranberries on the side. Cookies in the background with a green spruce twig.

You’ll want to add these Cranberry Thumbprint Cookies to your baking list this year. Filled with white chocolate and pieces of cranberry, these cookies are sure to turn heads. Add them to your cookie trays alongside these other top traditional Christmas Cookie Recipes.

Thumbprint cookies are incredibly popular in my house. Not only do you get a delicious cookie, but its center is filled with additional flavor. We love them so much that I bake a few different types of classic thumbprint cookies every year. It’s super easy to turn your favorite cookie recipe into a thumbprint cookie. Typically, I use a tried and true cookie that doesn’t spread much while it bakes in the oven. Then, I fill the center with chocolate ganache, caramel, a variety of jams, nuts, or other chocolate flavors and mini candy pieces.

THUMBPRINT COOKIES RECIPES

Cranberry Orange Cookies - Cranberry cookies scattered and stacked on a wooden board. Topped with a glaze and cranberry pieces in the cookies.

HOW TO MAKE CRANBERRY ORANGE THUMBPRINT COOKIES

  1. Blend cold butter into the flour and sugar mixture using a food processor/pastry cutter/fork until crumbly.
  2. Mix in vanilla extract and almond extract.
  3. Add orange juice and zest, salt, and chopped dried cranberries.
  4. Mix on low until soft dough forms.
  5. Scoop ¾ tbsp cookie dough. Roll into ball.
  6. Indent dough slightly with ½ tsp measuring spoon.
  7. Bake in 325°F oven for 14-16 minutes.
  8. Indent baked cookies with ½ tsp measuring spoon.
  9. Fill center of thumbprint with melted chocolate.
  10. Drizzle with glaze.
Cranberry Thumbprint Cookies - Cranberry cookies stacked in four. Filled with a white chocolate center and drizzle. Chunks of dried cranberry in each cookie peak through the dough. The top cookie has a bite taken out of the center to reveal the white chocolate center. Styled on brown burlap with cranberries on the side and cookies in the background.

CRANBERRY THUMBPRINT COOKIE INGREDIENTS

■ CRANBERRY: Dried cranberries are a must over fresh cranberries. Using dried cranberries will ensure that no extra moisture weeps into the cookie dough which helps them to bake up nice and plump and not flat.

■ ORANGE: As the only liquid in this recipe, the citrus juice from the orange adds a delicious flavor to the cookie dough and pairs perfectly with cranberries.

■ WHITE CHOCOLATE: I am using a homemade “double boiler” to melt the chocolate. To use this method, simply fill a medium saucepan with 1-inch water. Turn the burner to low-medium heat. Use a glass bowl that fits over the top of the pan then add the white chocolate chips and cream to the bowl and stir the mixture every few minutes until it’s melted and smooth. If the chocolate appears to “seize” simply stir in more cream. TIP: Use a metal spoon to stir the chocolate. I find that using a rubber spatula can seize chocolate since it can store extra moisture.

■ FLAVORING: A combination of vanilla extract and almond extract infuses a delicious flavor to the cookies.

■ FLOUR: Since these are shortbread cookies, the dough should form a nice ball that is not sticky. If the dough is too sticky, simply stir in more flour.

■ SUGAR: Granulated sugar adds just the right amount of sweetness to the cranberry cookies.

Cranberry Shortbread Cookies with White Chocolate - A closer image of the cranberry cookies stacked in four and filled with a white chocolate center and drizzle. Pieces of dried cranberry and orange zest show through the cookie dough. Stacked on burlap with the top cookie tilted toward the camera to show the top.

COOKIE TIPS AND QUESTIONS

I don’t have a food processor. What else can I use to make this recipe? Give the dried cranberries a good chop on the cutting board before adding them to the recipe. Next, use a fork if you don’t have a pastry cutter to break the butter and flour mixture into fine crumbs. Finally, use a stand or handheld mixer to make the cookie dough.

How do I melt chocolate chips? Using the double boiler method or in the microwave is the easiest way to melt it. I like to use a medium saucepan and fill it with 1 inch of water. Next, turn the heat to low. Place a larger glass bowl over the top of the pot. Make sure the sides so cover over the bowl so no water or steam can easily seize the chocolate. Add a few tsp heavy cream to the bowl with the chips and stir it every couple of minutes until it is melted and smooth. Smooth it even more by adding the remaining cream to the chocolate. TIP: Keep the chocolate on the boiler while filling the center of the cookies in.

Cranberry White Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies - A close image of the cranberry cookies stacked in four and filled with a white chocolate center and drizzle. Pieces of dried cranberry and orange zest show through the cookie dough. Stacked on burlap with the top cookie tilted toward the camera to show the top. Text in blue boarder in center reads cranberry white chocolate thumbprint cookies. Second image is Cranberry cookies scattered and stacked on a wooden board. Topped with a glaze and cranberry pieces in the cookies.

DO swap the chocolate chip filling for Hershey’s white chocolate kisses/hugs if it’s easier and more convenient.

Want more cranberry recipes before the season is over? Be sure to try this Glazed Cranberry Bread next. It’s a classic sweet pound cake recipe with real cranberries, orange juice, and a sweet glaze. Serve this Cranberry Fluff Salad as a side or dessert for Christmas or Thanksgiving, too.

TOP HOLIDAY COOKIE RECIPES

Cranberry Orange White Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Decadent Cranberry Orange White chocolate Thumbprint Cookies. A sweet sugar cookie recipe with sweet cranberries and citrus orange flavor. Each cookie is stuffed with white chocolate and topped with a sweet glaze. A delicious holiday cookie to add to your repertoire.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: christmas cookie recipe, cranberry cookies, thumbprint cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Total Time: 31 minutes
Servings: 45 cookies
Calories: 127kcal

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ tsp salt
  • tsp almond extract
  • tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 zest of orange
  • tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice

Filling

  • cups white chocolate chips
  • 6 tsp heavy cream (half and half or whole milk)

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp water

Instructions

  • Chop or pulse dried cranberries to break into smaller pieces.
  • Whisk flour and sugar.
  • Cut butter into small pieces. Use a pastry cutter/fork/food processor to blend into small crumbs with flour mixture.
  • Stir in dried cranberries, salt, vanilla extract, almond extract, orange zest, and orange juice.
  • Mix until a large dough ball forms. I used a food processor but a stand mixer with a paddle attachment works, too or simply form the dough with your hands.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Scoop ¾ cookie dough and roll into a smooth ball. Place dough 1½ inches apart.
  • Press thumb into center of dough ball.
  • Bake in oven for 14-16 minutes.
  • Press thumbprint or ½ tsp into center of baked dough again.
  • Melt chocolate in a double boiler on low heat with cream or in a microwave on power level 4 until melted. TIP: Avoid using a spatula to stir mixture as the moisture from it can seize it. Use a metal spoon to stir.
  • Fill the center of each cookie with white chocolate.
  • Drizzle the tops of the cookies with white chocolate using 2 spoons dipped in the chocolate or simply whisk together powdered sugar and water until smooth then drizzle over the top of each cookie.

Nutrition

Calories:127kcal | Carbohydrates:17g | Protein:1g | Fat:6g | Saturated Fat:4g | Cholesterol:13mg | Sodium:32mg | Potassium:28mg | Fiber:1g | Sugar:11g | Vitamin A:139IU | Vitamin C:1mg | Calcium:15mg | Iron:1mg

3 Comments

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
    Reply
    Jacki Jordan
    12/25/2020 at 10:43 am

    5 stars
    How do you get the chocolate to melt? I am having trouble. Love your blog

    • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
      Reply
      Swankyrecipes
      12/25/2020 at 10:46 am

      Hi Jacki. You may do this step ssing the double boiler method or in the microwave is the easiest way to melt it. I like to use a medium saucepan and fill it with 1 inch of water. Top another bowl over the top and add the chocolate and cream then stir until melted. For the other method, please see cooking tips and questions in the text content above.

    • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
      Reply
      Swankyrecipes
      05/04/2021 at 7:49 pm

      Did it work for you?

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