If there’s ever a cookie that screams “Christmas” it has to be a White Chocolate & Dried Cranberry Cookie. And so I dutifully waited until after Thanksgiving to post these lovelies.
And these White Chocolate & Dried Cranberry Cookies are exceptional, if I do say so myself. They have what I think is the perfect crispness on the edges giving way to the chewy centers and that flavor combo is the best.
The white chocolate chips add such a richness and the dried cranberries play so well with their slightly sweet/slightly tart flavor. Can I say addictive? Maybe dangerously so…
I think I want these cookies all the time!
Getting these cookies just right caused me a bit of trouble. I went through several recipes and methods and had a number of “fails.” Don’t get me wrong, here, nothing went to waste. But nevermind the heart – the stomach wants what the stomach wants.
Finally, I cobbled together a bit from here and a bit from there to come up with I think is perfection. I think you’ll love them, too. It’s the method, not the ingredients that really make these cookies shine.
That method IS a bit fussy, but follow the hints and you’ll have absolutely fabulous bakery style White Chocolate & Dried Cranberry Cookies.
When shopping for baking items, it really pays to shop the sales, especially this time of year when baking goods are at such a low. It sure doesn’t hurt to look for coupons on staples like dried cranberries (and other fruits) and any type of chocolate/white chocolate chips. There won’t be better sales until Easter.
White Chocolate & Dried Cranberry Cookies
- ¾ cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch salt
- 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries, divided
- 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips, divided
Add the butter to the a bowl if beating with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment. Beat for a minute until butter is smooth and creamy.
Add in the white & brown sugar and beat on high-speed until light and fluffy, stopping to scrape down before adding the egg and vanilla. Continue to beat on high until egg and vanilla are incorporated.
In a separate bowl, mix together with a whisk, the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Add to the butter/sugar mixture at low-speed until just combined. By hand, stir in 1 cup each of the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries, reserving the other 1/2 cup of each for garnishing.
Cover the dough tightly and refrigerate for at least two hours. Break the dough into three or four pieces and leave at room temperature for 10 minutes before forming into balls. If refrigerated longer, break up the dough but leave at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment, silicone liners or mist lightly with cooking spray.
Using a two tablespoon scoop, portion dough out, then form into balls. If you don’t have a scoop, form into balls roughly the size of a walnut. The dough may be a bit crumbly but will warm as you work with it.
Break each dough ball, by hand, into two pieces. Lay the pieces down side by side, the rough, broken sides facing up. Press the two sides together on the bottoms, forming a rough circle of dough with a craggy top. See photo at bottom of page.
Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Bake for about 8 – 9 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time to ensure an even cook. Cookies are done when barely browned around the edges although the center will appear slightly underdone.
While the cookies are baking, mix together the extra 1/2 cup each of white chocolate chips and dried cranberries. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, gently press a few pieces into the top of each cookie. (The cookies will deflate a bit with this action and a bit more as they cool.) Allow the cookies to cool on the sheets for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Just to review, here’s the hints that are going to give you the perfect cookies:
- Use real butter – margarine will spread more and you’ll risk a thin cookie.
- Chill the dough for at least a two hours. Less and they just won’t be quite right, but do bring out dough, break it into three or four chunks, and let it sit for 10 minutes before forming or the dough will be too hard to work with.
- If the dough is chilled longer, bring it out of the fridge and break the dough into three or four chunks and let it sit at room temp for at least 30 minutes. If you don’t, you’ll end up with really thick, cake-like cookies.
- Make these the right size – you’ll want balls of about 2 tablespoons – I’d say about the size of a walnut. I use a scoop to portion all the dough out and then form into balls by hand.
- When ready to cook, break those balls in two by hand, not by cutting. Turn them so the rough edges are facing up, and place the two halves side by side. Squish them together from the bottom into a kind of round, no need to be perfect, but leave the rough tops alone.
- When the cookies come out of the oven, place a few chips and dried cherries on top of the hot cookies and just barely press them in. Yeah, it’s a bit of a cheat but gives you gorgeous cookies