Cranberry orange shortbread in the style of Alison Roman with those crispy, sugary edges. This cookie gets some amped up orange flavor from lots of zest and a nice tang from the cranberries.
Prepare shortbread dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, orange juice, and 2 teaspoons orange zest on medium-high speed until super light and fluffy, about 3–5 minutes. Using a spatula, scrape down sides of bowl. With mixer off, add flour, and mix on low just until blended. Add in dried cranberries and stir on low just to blend. Divide dough in half, then place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. Fold plastic over to cover dough and protect your hands from getting all sticky. Using your hands (just like you’re playing with clay), form dough into a log shape; rolling it on the counter will help you smooth it out, but don’t worry about getting it totally perfect. Each half should form logs that are 2–2¼” in diameter. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours or up to one week.
Bake: Preheat oven to 325°F. Line two rimmed bakings sheet with parchment paper or silpats. Brush outside of logs with beaten egg using a silicone brush. Combine remaining 1 teaspoon orange zest with demerara sugar. Roll logs in demerara orange sugar mixture (this is for those really delicious crispy edges). Slice each log into ½”-thick rounds. Arrange on prepared baking sheet about 1″ apart (they won’t spread much). Bake cookies until edges are just beginning to brown, 12–15 minutes, rotating trays halfway through baking. Let cool slightly before transferring to cooling racks and devouring them all
Cookie dough can be made 1 week ahead. Tightly wrap in plastic and chill, or freeze up to 1 month. Cookies can be baked 5 days ahead. Store in plastic wrap or an airtight container.
Adapted from and inspired by Alison Roman’s Salted Butter and Chocolate Chunk Shortbread.
Keywords: cranberry orange shortbread cookies, holidays, Christmas, holiday cookies, cookie exchange, Alison Roman