During the 1940s, when government sugar rationing made baking a challenge, Rumford Baking Powder (of Rumford, Rhode Island) ran an ad with a recipe for cookies sweetened with honey. With today’s locavores in mind, we updated the recipe with a combination of honey and maple syrup (for flavor) and added lots of chopped cranberries and walnuts for both flavor and texture. Vanilla is the only ingredient that can’t be grown in New England, but you can buy locally brewed vanilla extract from Charles H. Baldwin & Sons of West Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
Preheat your oven to 350° and position the racks in the middle, with space in between. Grease two cookie (baking) sheets or line with parchment paper.
Put 3 cups of cranberries and the walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture looks like a coarse, chunky meal. Set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer (or in a large bowl, if using a hand-held mixer), cream the butter, honey, and maple syrup until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat 1 minute.
In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and beat until combined. Add the chopped cranberry/nut mixture, and stir with a spatula until evenly distributed.
Drop the dough onto the baking sheets a heaping tablespoon at a time, 2 inches apart. Cut the cranberries for the garnish in half and decorate each cookie with a few halves, cut side up. Bake until lightly browned, rotating pans halfway through, 15 to 17 minutes. Repeat with any remaining dough. Cool on wire racks, then serve.
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