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Cranberry Orange Thumbprint Cookies

I don’t think that it was a coincidence that the commercial for pajama jeans came on while I was baking these cookies. Actually, I think that it was a sign, especially since the commercial played not once, but twice while I was baking (and subsequently eating) these cookies. Are you familiar with the pajama jean? “They look like denim but feel like PJ’s!” Basically, for those that like to stay in their pajamas all day and can’t seem to find a pair of jeans to put on before going grocery shopping, these are a perfect alternative to tucking your sweats into your Ugg’s! These are the best “jeans” for this time of year since there is no actual button and they are, in all reality, pajamas. You can eat all you want and not have to worry about popping your top button at the dinner table. In fact, the more I think about it, maybe I should get some pajama jeans. No, I take it back, I don’t want these pants, but I did eat one too many cookies today. See, when the cookies came out of the oven, I had to try one to make sure that they tasted ok. Then I realized that I tried the first cookie while it was hot, so I had to try another one to see what they tasted like when cooled. Well, I wasn’t quite sure if that one was good, so I had to try a third. And then that darn pajama jeans commercial came on for the second time, and I figured since they made such a big deal out of  “fitting every figure”, I ate cookies number four and five. Yes. I ate 5 cookies. Because they are that good. So buttery and soft and the tartness from the cranberries just perfectly compliments the sweet citrusness (it’s a word, trust me, I have a blog) of the cookie. Oh I just really need to stay out of the kitchen and away from these cookies right now or I will need to order those pajama jeans.

Cranberry Orange Thumbprint Cookies
Yield: About 2 dozen
printer friendly version


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


2 cups fresh cranberries (about 12 oz)
2 tablespoons powdered fruit pectin
1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup water


For Jam:

In a large non-stick skillet set over medium-high heat, combine cranberries, fruit pectin, and butter. Stir constantly until all the cranberries have popped and the fruit becomes soft enough to squish with the back of a spatula.

Add the sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the water and boil until mixture is reduced to 1 1/3 cups, about 5 – 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

One option here is to strain the skins out of the jam before chilling. I did not do this, so my jam was a bit on the chunky side, which I actually really liked. If you want to remove the skins from the jam, press the warm jam through a fine mesh sieve over a bowl. Press the mixture with a spatula or wooden spoon so that only the jam pushes through and the skins stay in the sieve

Transfer mixture to a small glass bowl; cover and chill until the jam is cold, at least 6 hours. Be careful to not overcook the jam, it will thicken more while it is chilling.

For Cookies:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk to blend.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in the egg yolks, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture in 2 additions and beat just until moist clumps form. Gather the dough together into a large ball.

Pinch off 1-inch sections of dough and roll into balls. Place on the prepared baking sheets, spacing 1-inch apart.


Use the back of a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon, make an indentation in the center of each ball. Fill each indentation with 1/2 teaspoon of the cranberry jam.

Bake until golden brown, about 14-16 minutes. Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Adapted from: Jam and Cookie


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