Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir in walnuts and dried cranberries.
Whisk 1 cup sugar, applesauce, oil, orange zest and juice in a medium bowl until smooth. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix until well blended. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.
Put the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar into a small flat-bottomed dish or pan. Roll the dough with floured hands (it will be very moist) into 1 1/2-inch balls, then roll in sugar to coat. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake the cookies until barely golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on the pan for 1 minute; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.