Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies
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These are a favorite cookie recipe of mine. I first made them when hubby was in pilot training, and since then, for some reason they have become my go-to for when I want to send my hubby off with treats for his squadron.
This year hubby sadly didn't receive leave for Christmas, and I know there are probably a lot of other fellows in his squadron who didn't either. I've known many awesome single guys who give up their leave so that the ones with families can be home with their kids. So every December the spouses hold a "cookie drop," where we donate dozens and dozens of cookies to create gift bags for all the single airmen. It's a really fun holiday tradition.
Last year I got a little too ambitious, though, and spent forever in my kitchen trying to put together fancy frosted sugar cookies and multiple cookie variations. Since then, I've learned a couple of things that have made my kitchen life a bit easier: 1) use a cookie scoop! and 2) Reynolds Cookie Baking Sheets.
I had always wanted a cookie scoop but never felt like it was worth the 20 bucks that it seemed to be everywhere. But one day I happened upon a kitchenware outlet and snagged one for super cheap, and haven't looked back. Maybe it really was worth that 20 bucks. Not only do I get uniform cookies, but using it halves my cookie-making time. With a cookie scoop, it is a quick scoop-and-plop instead of a fight to keep the dough from sticking to my fingers as I hand-roll each cookie. Awesome.
And with the Reynolds Cookie Baking Sheets...so this is only the second batch of cookies I've made with them and I'm wondering where they've been all my life. Picked them up at Walmart, and these things almost halve the time I spend in the kitchen as well. Instead of having to roll out my parchment paper, try to measure it perfectly but accidentally cut it too small, then place weights on it so it doesn't re-roll, these baking sheets lay out flat and fit the pan perfectly. *Tears of joy*. I honestly didn't know that I could really fit 12 whole cookies onto one sheet. I will never buy normal parchment paper for my cookies again.*
This recipe is super simple but I love the combo of dried cranberries and white chocolate chips. Plus the batter is made with only dark brown sugar and I really like the texture and flavor it creates. For a more festive look, save your leftover white chocolate. When the cookies are done, slide the entire parchment paper sheet to your rack to cool, then on the same sheet, drizzle melted white chocolate over the cookies. Or dip them in the chocolate and sprinkle with minced cranberries. Then take a gift box, cut two pieces of baking sheet to fit both ways in the box, and pile the cookies inside.
Look for even more holiday and cookie exchange ideas HERE.
*FYI the baking sheets withstand temperature up to 420F. For cookies that is perfect.
Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp. hot water
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheets with Reynolds Cookie Baking Sheets.
Cream together butter and sugar. Add the egg, then the vanilla, and combine well.
Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water and beat into the batter. Add the salt and combine. Mix in the flour until just combined, then add the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries. Using a cookie scoop or your hands, roll into about 1-1/2 inch balls and drop on lined baking sheets, leaving a couple of inches between each cookie.
Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool on the pan for a minute, then slide the entire parchment paper sheet onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely. Decorate with leftover white chocolate and cranberries if desired.