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Cranberry Walnut Cookies

Fresh cranberries are the star flavor in these cranberry walnut cookies. The tartness of the cranberries combines with the butter and sugar in the cookies for a distinctive taste. Sweet and tangy with a little added crunch from walnuts make a delicious nutty seasonal cookie.

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Cranberries are one of my favorite holiday flavors, and these Cranberry Walnut cookies are a perfect way to enjoy them. These cookie are crispy with tangy cranberries in a rich buttery cookie dough.

Cookies with Fresh Cranberries

One of my favorite things about these cookies is that they use fresh cranberries instead of dried cranberries. If you want cookies using dried cranberries you can make Cranberry Hootycreeks, not cranberry walnut cookies.

cranberry walnut cookies on a baking rack

Around here fresh cranberries are only available seasonally during the November and December. So you can also make these cookies with frozen cranberries. It is also easy to stock up on cranberries during the holidays and freeze them so you can make these cookies all year long.

Cranberry Walnut Cookie Ingredients

Besides cranberries the most important ingredient in the cookies is walnuts. The walnuts give the cookies a nice crunch and the taste goes well with the tangy cranberries.

Other than that the ingredients are pretty much what you’d expect in a buttery cookie recipe. I use a little bit of almond extract to give a subtle little depth of flavor to the cookies. The remaining ingredients are all basic pantry baking staples – butter, sugars, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.

Making the Cranberry Walnut Cookies

1. Chop the Cranberries and Walnuts

The cranberries and walnuts for these cookies should be roughly chopped, not minced into tiny pieces. You want there to still be recognizable pieces of cranberries and walnuts in the cookies.

It is easiest to use a food processor or food chopper to chop them. If you use a food processor run it in pulse mode and stop it well before you end up with cranberry mush or walnut meal.

You can also use a chef’s knife and just chop them on a cutting board. This can be a little tricky with cranberries because they tend to roll all over the place, but it is doable!

2. Make the Cookie Dough

This cranberry walnut cookie dough is made by combining the butter and sugar on high speed in a mixer until well creamed. Then add the eggs, vanilla and almond extract and beat until you have a cream yellow batter.

Stir the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Then add them to the batter and mix until smooth.

Finally fold in the walnuts and cranberries, being sure not to over mix the cookie dough.

3. Chill the Dough

This cookie dough is a very rich butter dough. It will be easier to work with and bake better if it is chilled before baking. Chilling the dough solidifies the fat which will keep the cookies from spreading too much.

4. Shape and Bake the Cookies

These cookies are easily shaped by hand. Use a cookie scoop or your hands to make nice round 1 inch balls out of the cookie dough.

dough balls for making cranberry cookies

Place the cookie dough balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten them with a drinking glass. This will result in more or less round and uniform cookies.

cookie sheet with unbaked cranberry walnut cookies

Bake the cookies in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned.

Can I Freeze These Cookies?

These cranberry walnut cookies freeze well. They can be stored in the freezer for 3 months in an airtight container.

If you are freezing the cookies make sure you cool completely first. Then freeze them in a single layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet and transfer them to a freezer bag or other container after they are frozen.

Cranberry Walnut Cookies

Baked into sweets like cookies or bread cranberries are a delicious reminder of the holiday season. These crispy cookies are perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas, especially with a nice cup of hot cocoa!

stack of cranberry cookies on a white plate

Plus it is nice to have an occasional festive holiday dessert that doesn’t involve chocolate! These cookies are an excellent choice for bringing to a Christmas cookie exchange.

Yield: 36

Cranberry Walnut Cookies

stack of cranberry cookies on a white plate

These cranberry walnut cookies are a tasty fall cookie. Perfect for Christmas!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 1 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3-1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 cup fresh cranberries, chopped


  1. In a mixer, cream butter with both sugars.
  2. Add eggs and beat well, then add vanilla and almond extract.
  3. In a small bowl mix the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda and gradually add to the creamed mixture.
  4. Stir in the chopped walnuts and cranberries.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  7. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls, place on an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten with a drinking glass.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes until the edges are brown.


The cranberries and walnuts for these cookies should be coarsely chopped. If using a food processor use pulse mode and stop before they are finely diced.

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Nutrition Information:



Amount Per Serving: Calories: 131Saturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 101mgCarbohydrates: 12gSugar: 9gProtein: 1g
closeup of cranberry walnut cookies from overhead on a baking rack

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By on December 4th, 2019

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