Dried Cranberry–White Chocolate Chip Cookies

November 13, 2013

Credit: Emily Adamson
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It was a breeze to make the Dried Cranberry­­­–White Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Old Farmer’s Almanac Everyday Baking cookbook.

Like all the other recipes I’ve made out of Everyday Baking, this recipe had: a simple ingredient list, straightforward directions, and a truly delicious end product.

It's important, however, to read the recipe all the way through before you get started (which I didn’t do) because you’re supposed to refrigerate the cookie dough for 2 hours before you bake the cookies. I started this project after 9:00 p.m., so once I got to the bottom and realized this, I decided to turn off the oven (which had been diligently preheating to 350 degrees), wrap up my dough to let it sit in the fridge overnight, and then turn in for the evening!

The next day, I sprinkled just a touch of fleur de sel (sea salt) on each cookie before I baked them because I love the combination of sweet white chocolate and a little bit of salt. Lucky for me, by Day 2, clouds and a few raindrops had rolled in, so having the oven on and the wafting smell of baking cookies throughout my kitchen was a pleasure.

I froze most of the cookies to bring on an upcoming boat trip to British Columbia, but I did keep a few fresh cookies out to bring in for my coworkers* to sample (it’s good to leave on vacation on a positive note!).

*Thoughts from one of said co-workers: “Delicious! These cookies made my Monday morning all the more manageable. I usually try not to eat cookies in the morning (‘try’ being the key word here . . .), but these were scarfed down with not a single regret. The flavors are truly a lesson in teamwork. The tartness of the cranberries and the sweetness of the chocolate already complement each other beautifully, but the addition of some salt on top hits every taste bud base in the best possible way. The only regret I had about eating this cookie in the morning was that there wasn’t one for me to eat later in the day!”

Dried Cranberry–White Chocolate Chip Cookies

From The Old Farmer’s Almanac Everyday Baking cookbook (page 48)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sweetened dried cranberries

1 cup white chocolate chips

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans

Optional: Fleur de sel or sea salt, just a few pinches

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter in a large mixing bowl. Beat in the sugars and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Stir the dry mixture into the creamed ingredients, half at a time, until evenly mixed. Stir in the cranberries, white chocolate chips, and nuts (I used pecans). Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours (I refrigerated overnight).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly butter two large baking sheets or line them with parchment paper. With lightly floured hands, shape the dough into 1-1/2-inch-diameter balls. Place the balls on the baking sheets, leaving about 2-1/2 inches in between. Optional: sprinkle a tiny pinch of fleur de sel over each ball, literally just about 5 granules on each cookie. Bake one sheet at a time on the center oven rack for about 17 minutes (this sounded like a long time to me, but because the dough was cold, it was perfect!). When done, the edges of the cookies should be golden brown and the centers much less so. Cool the cookies for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Makes about 30 cookies.

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Emily lives in the Pacific Northwest and loves spending time cooking, baking, food blogging and visiting Washington wineries. Two kitchen tools she couldn’t live without are her microplane grater and blue Kitchen Aid Mixer. Her most treasured food memory is her grandfather (now 93 years old!) making sourdough pancakes. Fortunately her big yellow dog, Murray, requires long walks, which gets her out of the kitchen for a bit every day. 

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