Indulge in the delightful taste of White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies, a perfect treat for festive occasions. Imagine cookies that are irresistibly soft and chewy, filled with tangy cranberries that contrast beautifully with the rich sweetness of white chocolate chips. A hint of orange zest adds a unique twist, balancing the sweetness of white chocolate and the tartness of cranberries.
Imagine presenting these soft-baked cookies on your Christmas cookie platter. Alongside classic Sugar Cookies and aromatic Gingerbread Cookies, they’re sure to be a standout. Whether you’re attending a cookie swap or hosting a holiday party, these White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies will undoubtedly be the center of attention, adding a touch of gourmet elegance to your festive celebrations.
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Festive and effortlessly elegant, White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies are a delightful treat for any occasion, be it a cozy gathering at home, a fun-filled cookie swap, or as a thoughtful gift for neighbors and friends. For those who admire the simplicity and natural beauty in baking, this recipe is a perfect choice. It aligns with the ease and appeal of classic cookies like Oatmeal Raisin and Chocolate Chip, but with a unique twist.
These cookies are not just easy to make; they are a feast for the eyes as well. The vibrant red cranberries, fresh or dried, add a pop of color, while the white chocolate chips lend a creamy contrast. Fresh cranberries are especially recommended for their juiciness and vivid hue, creating a cookie that’s both softer and more visually striking. However, keep in mind that fresh cranberries add a bit more moisture, so you’ll want to extend the baking time slightly to achieve the perfect texture.
Here are the reasons to adore these Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies:
Simple to Bake – Despite making 36 cookies, their delectable sweetness and perfect gifting potential mean they’ll disappear quickly.
Seasonally Charming – The vivid red of the cranberries against the creamy white of the chocolate chips not only makes them a holiday delight but also a treat for any time of the year.
Conveniently Prepared in Advance – You can prepare the dough beforehand, and the cookies, once baked, can be stored in the freezer.
Tailored to Your Taste – Feel like adding extra chocolate? Toss in some chocolate chips. Prefer a bit of crunch? Mix in some nuts. Explore other variations below, and feel free to use either fresh or dried cranberries.
This cookie recipe is both simple and delightful. It’s an effortless process, perfect for anyone who wants delicious cookies without the hassle. Here’s what you’ll need:
Butter: Choose unsalted and softened, at room temperature for easy mixing.
Sugar: This not only adds sweetness but also aids in achieving those perfectly crisp edges.
Brown Sugar: Contributes to a chewy texture and a deeper color.
Flour: All-purpose flour works well, but feel free to substitute with your preferred gluten-free flour. Remember to measure it correctly.
Orange Zest: A secret ingredient for a fresh citrus burst, enhancing the flavor significantly.
Vanilla Extract: Homemade vanilla extract is my go-to for a rich aroma. (Bonus: it makes a great holiday gift!)
Egg: Ensure it’s large and at room temperature.
Baking Powder: This is crucial for making your cookies rise, avoiding the dreaded flat cookie syndrome.
Salt: A pinch to balance the overall sweetness.
White Chocolate Chips: These create delightful pockets of melted white chocolate in each bite.
Cranberries: Fresh and coarsely chopped. You can substitute with dried cranberries if needed. Pro tip: soak the cranberries in hot water for 15-20 minutes for softer cookies.
With these ingredients, you’re all set to bake cookies that not only taste amazing but also bring a smile to your face with every bite!
When baking with dried cranberries instead of fresh ones, keep in mind that they cook 1-3 minutes quicker due to their lower moisture content. It’s important to closely monitor your cookies in the oven to avoid overcooking. A good indicator that they are perfectly done is when the edges start to turn a golden brown.
To make Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies, follow these steps:
Preparation: Start by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line your baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats to prevent sticking.
Mixing Wet Ingredients: In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium-high speed to cream together butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, which should take about 2-3 minutes. Add an egg and beat well to incorporate it fully. Then, mix in the zest of a citrus fruit (like an orange or lemon) and vanilla extract. Remember to scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally to ensure all ingredients are well combined.
Combining Dry Ingredients: In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Gradually add this dry mixture to the butter mixture and beat them together just until they are combined and you have a cohesive cookie dough.
Folding in Extras: Use a stiff spatula to gently fold in chopped cranberries and white chocolate chips into the dough. Be careful not to overmix at this stage; you want to avoid crushing the cranberries.
Shaping and Baking: Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place them on your prepared baking sheets, ensuring they are spaced about 2 inches apart. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are a golden brown color. Note that cookies made with dried cranberries might bake a bit quicker, around 11-13 minutes.
Cooling: Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Then, transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Enjoy your homemade Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies!
Room Temperature: Place cookies in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Freezing: For longer storage, cookies can be frozen or refrigerated.
Make-Ahead Cookie Dough:
If not baking immediately, wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate the wrapped dough for up to 72 hours.
Before baking, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature until it softens enough to scoop.
Freezing Cookie Dough:
Place cookie dough balls onto a baking sheet and cover.
Freeze for an hour or until solid.
Once frozen, transfer the dough balls to a large Ziploc bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Baking Frozen Cookie Dough:
Place frozen cookie dough balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Thaw in the refrigerator for 3 hours.
Bake according to the recipe instructions.
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (12 tablespoons or 1.5 sticks)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (or preferred gluten-free flour), measured correctly
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3/4 cups white chocolate chips
- 2 cups fresh cranberries (8 oz. bag), coarsely chopped (or use 1 cup dried cranberries)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer at medium-high speed to cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the egg thoroughly, then mix in the orange zest and vanilla extract.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add this to the butter mixture, beating until just combined and the dough forms.
- Gently fold in the cranberries and white chocolate chips using a stiff spatula. Form the dough into 1-inch balls and place them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. A small cookie scoop is handy for this step.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges turn golden brown. Note: If using dried cranberries, the baking time may be slightly less, around 11-13 minutes.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.