NUTLEY, NJ -- When the Nutley Irish American Association hosted their annual Christmas party, the cranberry orange cookies were the most talked about subject of the evening. Santa was the headliner of the family-friendly evening, and even he loved these cookies. 

The cookies are a drop cookie version of a shortbread, but with cranberry, orange zest, white chocolate chips, and walnuts for holiday cheer. 

Made by Union Library Director Karen O'Malley, the citrus brightness of these cookies are perfect year-round and pair perfectly with iced tea on the patio in summer.   

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  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • ½ cup dried sweetened cranberries
  • ¾ cup white chocolate chips
  • ½ cup walnuts

For the icing

  • ⅓ cup confectioners sugar
  • ½ tsp orange extract
  • 1 tsp orange zest


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

Cream together the butter, sugar and 1 tbs of the orange zest.

Add the egg and mix until smooth.

Add the dry ingredients in 2 or 3 batches until combined.

Add cranberries and add to mix, add the chips and walnuts and mix until combined.

Drop onto a parchment lined cookie sheet in 1” balls.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and let cool while you prepare the icing.

For the icing, combine all ingredients and drizzle on the cooled cookies. 

This recipe makes about two dozen cookies.


O'Malley shared some hints to make the cookies and clean up even better. 

She likes to soak dried fruits in brandy about an hour before using them. She said, "It creates a nice flavor and plumps them a little." She also suggested placing parchment paper under the wire rack before you drizzle the icing for ease in clean up. is a member of the New Jersey Press Association and is a hyperlocal news site that serves residents, organizations and business owners of Denville, New Jersey.

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