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Frosted Cranberry Pecan Cookies

Every year I wait for fresh cranberries to come back into season. I love the tart and sweet flavor of the berries. That really shines in this Frosted Cranberry Pecan Cookies recipe. It’s a soft cookie with fresh cranberries baked and chopped pecans baked into them, then it’s topped with a vanilla buttercream frosting. They’re so festive for Christmas and delicious!

The Frosted Cranberry Pecan Cookies are festive and made with fresh berries!

I absolutely love baking Christmas cookies. Every year I make at least 10-12 different varieties of cookies. As much as I love fun and fancy, I always go back to baking drop cookies. Drop cookies are just so simple and hard to mess up.

I find these Cranberry Pecan Drop Cookies to be rather unique. Most cranberry cookies have dried cranberries baked into them, but this recipe calls for fresh. No matter how much you love them, they’re a super special treat because you can only bake them during the holiday season.

The fresh cranberry adds a tart flavor and the pecans add crunch. The combination is outstandingly delicious and the frosting is the perfect finish. Give them a try and let me know what you think of this Christmas cookie!

Do you love Christmas cookies as much as me? If you’re looking for unique holiday cookies and you’re sick of your usual recipes, try some of these:

How To Make Frosted Cranberry Pecan Drop Cookies

I have a technique when I bake cookies that I recommend to all of my readers. Everyone can bake the same cookie recipe and it can turn out differently based upon the technique that you use! I use silicone baking mats on top of my cookie sheets.

Silicone Baking Mats help to promote even baking, prevent the cookies from sticking and the bottoms won’t burn. If you don’t have any baking mats, you can use parchment paper. It works in a similar manner, but not as well as the mats. In a pinch, use parchment paper over a non-stick cooking spray.

Frosted Cranberry Pecan Cookie Recipe
Frosted Cranberry Pecan Cookies are the perfect festive Christmas Cookie!

When To Make These Cookies

There isn’t much of a choice here. Fresh cranberries are harvested in the fall and are usually only available at your local grocery store from October through December. However, you can freeze fresh cranberries for up to one year. So stock up on fresh cranberries, during the holiday season, if you fall in love with this cookie and want to make it when they aren’t in season.

I add these to my holiday cookie tray, serve them for Christmas dessert, bring them to cookie exchange parties and even give them out as a gift.

How To Keep Your Frosted Cranberry Pecan Cookies Fresh After Baking

Store the cookies in an airtight food storage container after baking. Since the cookies are frosted, add sheets of wax paper in-between the cookies if you have to stack them. The leftover cookies can stay out on the countertop, but they can’t be exposed to direct heat. The frosting will melt.

I prefer to keep my Frosted Cranberry Pecan Cookies in the refrigerator. Let them thaw for a few minutes and then they’re ready to be enjoyed. For best freshness, enjoy the cookies within 5-7 days of baking.

Can You Freeze These Cookies?

Yes! These cookies are great to freeze. There are two different ways you can freeze the cookies. First, you can freeze the cookie dough. This is a great method if you want to make the cookie dough before the rush of the Christmas season. Just let the dough thaw until easy to work with and follow the recipe directions to finish the cookies.

Secondly, you can freeze the cookies after they’ve baked. Place the cookies in a freezer bag. The cookies can stay frozen for up to three months. I keep them in the back of my freezer, so temperature changes (from the door opening) don’t effect the cookies. Let the cookies thaw to room temperature and enjoy.

Cranberry Pecan Frosted Drop Cookies

Tips For Making Drop Cookies Amazing Every Time

  • Let your butter soften on the countertop completely and do not microwave your butter. Follow these tips to soften butter quickly, if needed.
  • Measure the ingredients perfectly, leaving no room for error.
  • Crack eggs in a small separate bowl. Nobody wants egg shell in their dough when it takes seconds to ensure that it doesn’t happen – haste makes waste.
  • Refrigerate the dough for a bit before baking. This helps the cookies not spread as much.
  • Silicone Baking Mats are fabulous for even baking and preventing the cookies from sticking to the cookie sheet.
  • Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire cooling rack.

Recipe Substitutions & Shortcuts

Chopping cranberries are very difficult – they’re little balls that roll all over the place. Instead of wasting your time to chop cranberries, toss them into a food processor and pulse it a few times. The same goes for the pecans – use the food processor to chop them after the cranberries.

If you want to substitute pecans for walnuts, it’s also a delicious combination. Just chop the walnuts, the same as the pecans. Macadamia nuts are also a great option. Pick your favorite nut!

What You’ll Need From The Grocery Store:

  • Butter
  • Brown Sugar
  • Egg
  • Milk
  • Orange Juice
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Chopped Pecans
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract

Directions To Make Frosted Cranberry Pecan Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand mixer bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Add egg, milk and juice; mix well.

Dry ingredients for cookie

In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture. Stir in cranberries and pecans.

Cranberry Pecan Cookie Dough

Drop by level tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to wire cooling racks.

Dropping Cookie Dough Onto Cookie Sheet

For the buttercream frosting: In microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Let the butter cool slightly and transfer to medium mixing bowl. Beat in powdered sugar, vanilla and enough water for desired consistency.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Spread the frosting over the cooled Cranberry Pecan Cookies and enjoy!

Cranberry Pecan Drop Cookie
Yield: 4 Dozen Cookies

Frosted Cranberry Pecan Cookies

Frosted Cranberry Pecan Cookie Recipe

Soft, sweet and slightly tart, these Frosted Cranberry Pecan Cookies are the perfect Christmas cookie recipe!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 34 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1⁄4 cups chopped fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

For The Frosting:

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons hot water

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand mixer bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Add egg, milk and juice; mix well.

2. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture. Stir in cranberries and pecans.

3. Drop by level tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to wire cooling racks.

4. For the buttercream frosting: In microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Let the butter cool slightly and transfer to medium mixing bowl. Beat in powdered sugar, vanilla and enough water for desired consistency.

5. Spread the frosting over the cooled Cranberry Pecan Cookies and enjoy!

Notes

  • Place leftover cookies in an airtight food storage container
  • For best freshness, enjoy within 5-7 days of baking. Cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

48

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 110Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 43mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 1g

**Nutrition is calculated by a third party. Actual values may vary.

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