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Frosted Cranberry Drop Cookies

I started making these treats after tasting a batch my friend whipped up. I immediately requested the drop cookie recipe and have been baking them by the dozens ever since. The icing is an ideal complement to the tart berries in the cookies. —Shirley Kidd, New London, Minnesota
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 15 min./batch + cooling
  • Makes
    about 5 dozen


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2-1/2 cups chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons hot water


  • In a bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add milk, egg and orange juice; mix well. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in cranberries and nuts.
  • Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° until golden brown, 12-15 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
  • For frosting, heat the butter in a saucepan over low heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes; transfer to a small bowl. Add sugar and vanilla. Beat in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until frosting reaches desired consistency. Frost the cookies.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • Dark brown sugar contains more molasses than light or golden brown sugar. The types are generally interchangeable in recipes. But if you prefer a bolder flavor, choose dark brown sugar.
  • For more flavor, lightly toast the walnuts before adding them to the dough.
  • These cookie recipes deserve a spot in your collection.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 cookie: 102 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated fat), 10mg cholesterol, 56mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.
    Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.

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    Average Rating:
    • mebaumert
      Jan 26, 2020

      Very tasty. Made as directed. Used full bag of frozen cranberries. Ninja make quick work of them

    • OhioBuckeye
      Dec 12, 2019

      Very good flavor. I added a few more cranberries, some semi-sweet chocolate chips and in some of the cookies, I added coconut. I only added half of the milk called for and in its place used more orange juice as I wanted a stronger orange flavor to compliment the cranberries. I used orange juice instead of water to make the icing. Delicious! They didn’t last long.

    • Beckstr
      Nov 27, 2019

      Loved these cookies. Made them small, bite size, and they were a hit. On the list for Christmas

    • Lisa
      Nov 23, 2019

      Can I freeze these?

    • Patty
      Nov 14, 2019

      Ingredients in cookie

    • Whitehousewoman
      Nov 2, 2019

      I made these cookies tonight and they are delicious. I chopped my fresh cranberries in the food processor and was worried that they were too finely chopped. I was pleasantly surprised at how well they turned out. I made the frosting according to recipe directions and it was spreadable as well as tasty. The only thing I will change next time is to not chop the cranberries so finely; I think a larger piece would elevate the cookie from delicious to sublime!

    • cab9162
      Oct 23, 2019

      These cookies weren't bad, but they didn't have much flavor..I wouldn't make them again

    • lseibling
      Oct 23, 2019

      Haven’t tried these yet. Thinking about using crasins instead of cranberries. Might eliminate icing? Has anyone tried this?

    • soonrzfan
      Jul 6, 2019

      Haven't made the recipe yet but just wondering if anyone has used orange juice instead of water in the frosting recipe. I think it would be good!

    • Ginny
      Mar 16, 2019

      I am always hesitant about recipes that use use fresh berries, but I tried it anyway because my husband loves fresh cranberries. These are so good! The icing didn't turn out well . It may have been something I didn't do correctly.