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These cookies are so easy and perfect for fall. With dried cranberries, orange zest, and poppy seeds, they can practically be substituted as a healthy breakfast cookie…Mix them up the day before a party, and the next morning  you’ll take out simple and slice-able dough that bakes up perfectly.

The best part about these cookies? There are loads of variations for the basic dough that you could make work during just about any season. This recipe is very similar to Martha Stewart’s Lime Meltaways that I made back in July. Next time, I would consider adding:

  • grated zest of 2 lemons; coat with or mix in 1/4 cup poppy seeds
  •  grated zest of 2 limes; coat with 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots; coat with or mix in 1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate or peanut-butter chips
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger; coat with or mix in 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • Swap 1/4 cup of flour for unsweetened cocoa
  • Swap 1/2 to 1 cup of flour for ground almonds, pecans, hazelnuts or walnuts


Cranberry Orange Poppyseed Cookies (Slice and Bake Cookies)

From the Joy the Baker Cookbook, adapted from Smitten Kitchen & Dorie Greenspan

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  1. Put the butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, yolk, and vanilla, and beat until well blended, another 2 minutes. Stop the mixer to scrape down the bowl if necessary.
  2. Add the flour and the salt, orange zest, cranberries, and poppy seeds, all at once, to the egg mixture and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Stop the mixer and and remove the bowl and finish incorporating the ingredients with a spatula.
  3. Divide the dough in half and place each half on a sheet of waxed paper. press each half into a log 1 inch in diameter. Roll into plastic wrap and store in the fridge to chill for at least 3 hours, although overnight is best.
  4. When ready to bake, place racks in the middle and upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets w/ parchment paper and set aside.
  5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap, and use a knife to slice dough into 1/3 inch thick rounds. lace on baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
  6. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, or until barely browned around the edges. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Cookies will last, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 4 days. For at least a month if you freeze them. The dough can be wrapped airtight and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days or stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.
  8. NOTE: If using different mix-ins and coating the cookies, roll cookie logs in any coatings after taking out of refrigerator, before putting in oven.