These cranberry walnut swirls have a hint of orange zest for a festive flavor and the cookie is tender with the perfect crunch.
These cookies are perfect for Christmas gift-giving. Cranberry Walnut Swirls take no more time than regular, cut sugar cookies, and the presentation is so colorful and festive, be sure to give them in a clear container or cellophane. And they’re not difficult to put together, the cookies can be rolled ahead of time and frozen for up to two months.
Crunchy walnuts, tart cranberries and the zest from an orange add just the right tart and sweet flavors that compliment the crispy golden sugar cookie dough. I like to bake these cookies till barely golden but you can make them more crisp to your liking. Leave out the walnuts if you’re not a fan. If you want them to sparkle a little, dip the cookies in regular or colored sugar just before baking.
These cookies are winners in our house, year after year. I hope they become a tradition in your house, too.
Cranberry Orange Walnut Swirls
- Set oven rack on top position and preheat to 375F degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 ½ cups flour, ¼ teaspoon baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, beat ½ cup butter and ¾ cup sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add 1 Tablespoon sour cream, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla, combining well between each addition.
- Gradually add flour mixture and beat until well combined. (Do not overbeat it, though)
- Cover the cookie dough and chill for one hour.
- Combine ½ cup cranberries, ⅔ cup walnuts and 1 Tablespoon orange rind.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 10-inch square. (About ¼ inch thick.)
- Sprinkle with cranberry mixture, leaving a ½-inch border on 2 opposite sides.
- Roll up dough, jellyroll fashion, beginning at a bordered side. Cover and freeze 6 hours or up to 1 month.
- Cut roll into ¼-inch thick slices. Place slices on cookie sheet. Bake on top oven rack at 375 degrees for 14 to 15 minutes or until lightly golden browned at the edges.
- Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
- Makes about 30 "pretty" cookies plus extra from the roll ends that aren't as nice looking, but every bit as delicious.