FOUR days until the big day! I seem to always end up with one last-minute recipe, so here’s this year’s: Cranberry Sage Cookies!
These Cranberry Sage Cookies are buttery sage cookies sandwiched with cranberry buttercream! The combination of flavors and textures in these beauties is a dream! <3 Just for a little extra holiday bling, I topped mine with some candied sage leaves, too!
Making Sage Sugar Cookies
These cookies are a pretty basic recipe, but adding fresh sage takes them to a whole new level! I definitely prefer using fresh sage in these, but dried sage will work also (just make sure you note the different amounts to use of fresh vs. dried in the recipe)!
The cookie dough is rolled out between two sheets of parchment. I use non-stick parchment (as opposed to waxed paper) because it doesn’t crinkle up while rolling and the dough doesn’t stick to it. If you’re looking to get some, you can find it here.
I chose a 2.5-inch fluted round cutter for my cookies. Just note that if you use a different size cutter, that the bake time will be a little more (for larger cookies) or less (for smaller cookies), depending on the size you choose.
You can either line your pans with parchment or with silpats. I prefer using silpats because they can be used over and over again and because the cookies brown more slowly. If you’re interested in getting yourself some, you can find them here.
Making Cranberry Buttercream
The homemade cranberry-orange purée comes together quickly and easily, but make sure you let it cool to room temperature before adding it to your buttercream! After you process the purée in a food processor, you can strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer if you’d like to remove the skins and seeds, but I didn’t find this step necessary.
The cranberry buttercream is so simple and SO delicious! Because the berries may have more/less juice each time you make it, the buttercream isn’t guaranteed to be the perfect consistency as written in the recipe. If it’s too thin, add a bit of powdered sugar to thicken it. If too stiff, add a few teaspoons of orange juice to thin it out.
Making Candied Sage
I just love how special these candied sage leaves look served up with these cookies! Keep in mind that the leaves will take 8-12 hours to dry. It seems like forever, but the drying process is entirely hands-off, so you can just make them the day before. I left mine out on the counter with a bowl overturned on top of them to protect them from dust, but still provide some airflow. They’re totally optional, of course, but they’re sooo pretty!
Because the recipe for the candied sage uses raw egg whites, I need to tell you that consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness, especially if you have certain medical conditions. If you’re concerned about using raw egg whites, make sure to use the pasteurized egg whites that you can buy in a carton, or skip the candied sage leaves altogether.
Making Cranberry Sage Cookies Ahead
Once cookies are completely cool, sandwich them with the cranberry buttercream. The cookies freeze well with or without buttercream, but I find that freezing the cooking without the buttercream, then sandwiching them after thawing, better preserves the sage flavor in the cookies!
This is it! These Cranberry Sage Cookies are my last new recipe of the year! I had so many more planned that I just didn’t get to, but there’s always next year!! Happy holidays, everyone!!
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Cranberry Sage Cookies
Sage Sugar Cookies:
- 3 cups flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup minced fresh sage leaves (or 4 tsp dried sage)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- ¾ cup cranberries (fresh or frozen) (about 2.5 oz)
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- zest of one small orange
- 2 tsp orange juice
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 stick)
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- cranberry purée (from above)
Candied Sage Leaves:
- 1 egg white, beaten (see note)
- ¼ cup sugar
- fresh sage leaves
- Line two sheet pans with parchment or silpats (see note). Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt). Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine sugars and sage. Mix on low speed for a few minutes to help release the oils from the sage.
- Add the butter, and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Add egg and mix to combine. Add the dry ingredients gradually, mixing until just incorporated.
- Turn the dough out onto your work surface and divide in half, shaping each half into a disc about 1 inch thick.
- Working with half the dough at a time, roll the dough out to about ¼" thickness between two sheets of waxed paper or parchment. Cut the dough into your desired shapes (I chose a 2.5-inch fluted round cutter). Place the cut-outs on the prepared cookie sheets, and place in the freezer for 20 minutes before baking.
- Preheat the oven to 375° F. Bake the cookies for 7-9 minutes, or until just barely golden at the edges. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Pour the mixture into a food processor and process until as smooth as possible. (At this point you can strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer if you'd like to remove the skins and seeds, but I didn't find this step necessary.)
- Let the purée cool to room temperature before adding to the buttercream.
- Combine butter and sifted powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream together for several minutes until well mixed and smooth.
- Add the (room temperature!) cranberry purée and mix to incorporate. If the buttercream is too thin, you can add more powdered sugar to thicken it to your desired consistency.
For Candied Sage:
- Swirl sage leaves in the beaten egg white (see safety note!), pinching/sliding them between your thumb and index finger to remove the excess. Dip the leaves in sugar, then lay on a rack to dry. The leaves will take 8-12 hours to dry completely, depending on the humidity level.
- Once cookies are completely cool, sandwich with the cranberry buttercream. Serve with candied sage, if desired. The cookies freeze well with or without buttercream, but I find that freezing the cooking without the buttercream, then sandwiching them after thawing, better preserves the sage flavor in the cookies.Enjoy!