Well, Christmas 2014 is technically now behind us…but I hope you all are still basking in the holiday spirit, because I have another holiday cookie recipe to share with you! If you’re anything like my family, the baking doesn’t end after Christmas – we’re only just getting started! These cranberry orange coconut cookies are another of my family’s favorite Christmas cookies, along with the Aunt Della’s cookies I shared earlier this month.
Cranberry and orange is a classic flavor pairing, but these cookies also add dried coconut to the mix – the coconut provides a nice element of texture, but its flavor is subtle. The recipe title as it appeared in Sunset was actually “Coconut-Cranberry Chews,” but I rearranged it a bit to reflect the flavors in order of prominence (as I perceive them, anyway). As the original title indicates, these cookies are marvelously chewy. With their bright flavor and pretty exterior, studded with jewel-like cranberries, these cranberry orange coconut cookies are sure to win you over!
- 1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
- 1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked dried coconut
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Mix in the orange zest and vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the butter and sugar and mix until all the dry ingredients are fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Stir in the dried cranberries and coconut.
- Roll spoonfuls of dough into 1-inch balls. Place them about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Note: for this recipe, using parchment paper is preferable to using silicone mats.
- Bake for 8-11 minutes, until the cookies are just slightly golden brown. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheets for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
- I have also made this recipe with dried cherries. Feel free to use either dried cherries or cranberries, or a blend of both.
- Ordinarily, I use Fleischmann’s unsalted oil spread in place of butter to keep baked goods dairy-free, but Fleischmann’s does not work well in these cookies: the end product was a very thin, flat, and somewhat brittle cookie. Nucoa (another dairy-free margarine) works fine, though.
- This recipe originally appeared in Sunset (Dec. 2001), submitted by Nancy Jamison. The ingredients and amounts listed are those of the original recipe, but the instructions and notes are my own.