Cranberry Lemon Cookies

Cranberry Lemon CookiesThis is a wonderful cookie I discovered more than 10 years ago at the Epicurious Recipe Swap (formerly called Gail’s Recipe Swap). It has become one of the “must have” cookies during the holidays, are often the first to disappear, and look beautiful on a cookie platter. If you are looking for a special cookie for gift giving, a holiday party, or a cookie exchange, give this one a try!

1/2 C butter
1/2 C sugar
1/3 C brown sugar
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla
1 C flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1-1/2 C chopped pecans (I use walnuts)
1-1/2 C chopped fresh cranberries

Cream butter, sugars, and lemon zest. Beat in egg and vanilla.

Combine flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Gradually beat into butter mixture. Stir in nuts and cranberries.

Drop by teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets (or cover baking sheet with parchment paper). Bake at 350F for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden. Let cool slightly before removing to cooling racks. Frost when cool.

ICING: Whisk together 1 C confectioner’s sugar, 2 Tbsp milk, and 1/4 tsp. lemon zest. Mix together well. Best if made ahead and chilled for at least one day in the refrigerator (see note). Drizzle or spread on cookies; allow to dry before storing cookies.

Makes 4-5 dozen.


  • Though our oven tends to run hot, these cookies seem to take 13-14 minutes to bake. Check after 12 minutes and add an extra minute or two if needed; they should just be golden brown.
  • Icing is best when made at least a day ahead of time. This gives the sugar time to absorb the milk, and lets the lemon zest impart a strong lemon flavor.
  • The original recipe did not give the amount of vanilla, so I guessed at 2 tsp.
  • I use walnuts — our favorite nut!
  • These cookies freeze well, but should be thawed before adding the icing.

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