Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Edited to Add: I remade this recipe December 2015 with new photos and can be found at Soft and Chewy Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s National Cookie Day and tis the season to bake cookies.

Especially soft and chewy ones that are loaded with cranberries and white chocolate chips.

The cookies were inspired by a two recent recipes. First, from my love of the Sugar-Doodle Vanilla Cookies I made a couple weeks ago. That dough is made using good old-fashioned simple ingredients. There’s nothing fancy, or specialty about it but the resulting cookies taste exceedingly special. Never under-estimate the power of butter and sugar.

MY OTHER RECIPES

Compared to the more recent Chocolate Chip and Chunk Cookies, which is my new favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies, the Sugar-Doodle dough is a bit sweeter and more delicate. I knew it would be the perfect dough base to support copious amounts of tart dried cranberries and sweet white chocolate morsels.

Additionally, I couldn’t get the Cranberry Bliss Bars out of my mind. They’re loaded with cranberries and oodles of white chocolate, baked in a soft and tender bar that’s a dead ringer for the Starbucks version. I have to resist the urge to go back for seconds, or thirds. It’s a good thing the batch size is only eight.

This recipe is an ode to Cranberry Bliss Bars, in cookie form.

The dough comes together in minutes. Cream together butter, sugars, an egg, vanilla, a splash of cream or milk, and add the flour. I used a combination of both bread and all-purpose flours because bread flour produces chewier cookies and I love a good chew-fest.

Exclusively using all-purpose is fine but the resulting cookies likely won’t be quite as chewy or have as much height. Bread flour also adds increased structure, height, and rise to baked goods, thanks to it’s higher gluten content. These sweet and golden cookies baked up tall and proud.

In order to get maximum height and to ensure the cookies spread as little as possible while baking, the dough must be chilled prior to baking. You can make this dough up to five days in advance and allow it to remain in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake the cookies. Bake one or two at a time, or make the whole batch at once.

There is nothing worse than an under-stuffed, under-loaded, under-sauced or just under-whelming dessert. If it’s a chocolate chip cookie, I use enough chocolate chips and also add chocolate chunks to ensure I know it’s a chocolate. Or I use chocolate five ways.

If it’s a piece of cake, I liberally glaze it, ganache it, or stud it with a wall-like layer of streusel topping. Live in abundance. And I abundantly used dried cranberries and white chocolate chips, and dough really couldn’t hold much more.

Living in abundance can be a double-edge sword and this is the season for it. Everywhere I turn there’s a holiday cookie tray, dessert platter with fudge on it, or another specialty holiday product for sale in the grocery store with a ‘limited time only’, heightening my urgency to have it now. The nice thing about this recipe is that it’s a smaller-batch recipe, yielding about sixteen cookies, not dozens and dozens. Double the recipe if you need more abundance than I do.

The cookies have chewy edges and tender, soft, pillowy centers. They’re moist and are bursting with texture. Each bite is full of something chewy. Either a tart and wrinkly cranberry or sweet and smooth white chocolate. As the cookies bake, the white chocolate melts and meshes with the buttery dough in a scrumptious way.

A cross between a chewy sugar cookie, a fluffy snickerdoodle, and a Cranberry Bliss Bar, they’re the best of all worlds and a new holiday favorite.

Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
The cookies are part chewy sugar cookie with chewy edges and tender, soft, pillowy centers. And part Cranberry Blliss Bars, in cookie form. They're bursting with texture and each bite is loaded with either tart and chewy cranberries or sweet and smooth white chocolate. As the cookies bake, the white chocolate melts and meshes with the buttery dough in a scrumptious way for a soft and moist cookie that's a new holiday favorite.
Serves: about 16 cookies
Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons cream or milk
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup bread flour (all-purpose flour may be substituted and used exclusively; bread flour yields chewier cookies and is recommended)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on low speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the sugars and beat on medium-high speed until creamed and well combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the egg, cream, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flours, baking soda, salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute. Notes regarding the flour - solely using all-purpose flour will work, the cookies will not be as chewy or rise as well because bread flour creates chewier results and gives greater rise. Also, I live in a dry climate and only need 1¾ cups flour total but if you are in more humidity or your dough is very moist or loose, adding up to ¼ cup of additional flour, for 2 cups total, is possible. The more flour, the more the cookies will stay domed and puffed while baking.
  2. Add the cranberries, white chocolate chips, and beat momentarily with the mixer until combined or fold in by hand. Transfer dough to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, up to 5 days.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat, parchment, or spray with cooking spray. Using a 2-ounce cookie scoop, form heaping mounds weighing 2¼-ounces each (weighed on a scale, which is approximately a scant ¼-cup measure) and place them on the baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until pale golden and edges have just set, even if slightly undercooked in the center, as cookies will firm up as they cool (The cookies shown in the photos were baked for 9 minutes and have chewy edges with soft pillowy centers. For crunchier cookies, extend baking time by 1 to 2 minutes). Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.
  4. Inspired by Sugar-Doodle Vanilla Cookies and Cranberry Bliss Bars

Related Recipes:

Cranberry Bliss Bars {Starbucks Copycat Recipe} – The flavor in the Bliss Bars is very similar to the cookies, but they are more loaded and decadent. They’re made with a white chocolate and cranberry blondie bar base, topped white white chocolate-cream cheese frosting, more cranberries, and a white chocolate drizzle. They can be made from start to finish in a half hour and are one of the best things I’ve made in ages

Sugar-Doodle Vanilla Cookies – These cookies inspired today’s recipe because the dough base itself is just so scrumptious. There’s nothing fancy in the ingredients, but they combine so wonderfully to produce soft, chewy, and cookies with fragrant vanilla notes. Easily one of my top 5 favorite cookie recipes on my site

White Chocolate Snickerdoodle Cookies – The cookies are rolled in a cinnamon-sugar coating prior to baking, making for a truer snickerdoodle than the Sugar-Doodles (above), and they’re loaded with white chocolate chips

Cranberry Pineapple Mango Preserves – Much more flavorful than traditional cranberry sauce from the addition of pineapple, mango, cinnamon, and ginger, which sweetly spice and enhance fresh cranberries. The preserves are full of chunky texture from the variety of fruits used, and can be made in just over a half hour. Makes a nice gift that will keep refrigerated for about one month

Mango and White Chocolate Chip Cookies – These cookies are thinner and very chewy, and combine two of my favorite ingredients, mango and white chocolate chips. They’re combined in this ridiculously soft and moist cookie

Peanut Butter Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip Cookies – Perhaps my favorite cookie recipe on my entire blog. From the peanut butter included, to the texture from the oats, and the sweet bits of white chocolate in each bite, they’re an all-time favorite. They stay soft and chewy for days. Very easy to make and  no-mixer-required

Do you like cranberries? White chocolate? Favorite holiday cookies?

If you have favorite recipes feel free to share the links.

I have all my White Chocolate Recipes here including photos with links

Thanks for the Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Sampler Giveaway entries – winner announced next post

124 comments on “Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies”

  1. Pingback: White Chocolate Recipes

  2. I should make these cookies with my niece, I’m sure she’s going to love them not only because they’re delicious but mostly because of the pink and white palette (you know, princess/ballerina madness!)
    BTW yesterday I started a batch of vanilla extract according to your recipe: can’t wait!

    • Oh that’s awesome about the vanilla! LMK how it goes for you – make sure to give it plenty of time, probably 8 weeks + but you’re going to love it when it’s ready! And I totally know about the pink and white, princess/ballerina type madness with my own little almost 6 year old princess :)

  3. A new holiday favorite indeed – your sugar doodle recipe sounded incredible and is no doubt the perfect sweet buttery base for white chocolate and cranberries. the soft, crinkly tops, thick qne chewy centers, small batch size, abundence of vanilla and bread flour – these cookies are just begging to be made. they are gorgeous and anything coming close to your cranberry bliss bars is a winner in my book – they have been catching my eye since you posted them and now i am seeing them everywhere! i love this cookie recipe – easy, sraightforward, and quick. perfect for this time of year!! awesome job with these cookies averie!

    • It’s funny how that works, there’s a delay of sorts sometimes with posts. I posted the Bliss Bars on Nov 1 (I know b/c it was the 1st day of the month, last month) and just now they seem to have gotten more popular. I think you’d love this dough base, Sally. I know you love the cornstarch dough base and I do too, but it’s more rugged and overall just a smidge less sweet; and this dough base is perfect for more ‘delicate’ cookies or flavors; like salted caramel and stuff like that I will use the CS base and for like mango, white choc, blueberries or something like that, I like this one. So many options :)

  4. My boyfriend loves anything involving white chocolate and cranberry so I’m pretty sure he’d be salivating over these cookies!

  5. My MIL made similar cookies this past weekend using fresh cranberry! They were amazingggggg. There is something about white chocolate that goes so well with cranberry. Beautiful!

    • Wow, fresh cranberries in cookies is impressive! I tried using fresh mango, well frozen, but it wasn’t dried mango; and the juices did water down the dough and it was a bit tricky to work with (I linked them in this post). Still great but they turn out on the thinner side. I’d be so curious to try a cookie with fresh cranberries!

  6. Oh man, you’re so right… cranberries and cookies were made for December! I still have to try my hand at making those bliss bars. I’ve been thinking about them constantly since you shared that recipe with us!

  7. Cranberries are so gorgeous in cookies!

  8. Cranberry white chocolate cookies are one of my favorites for sure! Thanks for the recipe Averie, and the early morning stomach growling!

  9. I’m loving anything cranberry right now! These cookies look SO soft and pretty.

  10. These sound so tasty! Love all those flavours mixed up in there. Yum!

  11. These look fantastic! I love dried cranberries with white chocolate, such a great combo.

  12. These are my favorite cookies. Ok, maybe behind a perfect PB or chewy oatmeal, but these rank right up there. I use a Paula Deen recipe I think it’s called White Chocolate Cherry Chunk but I just subbed the cranberries for the cherries. I haven’t made them in a few years but used to make them for Christmas. The dough freezes perfectly too so you can make the dough ahead then bake off the cookies later.

  13. I’m on such a cranberry kick lately – these look amazing! As do your cranberry bliss bars … they’re on my ever-growing list of goodies to try this holiday season : )

  14. Save me some! And by some I mean 14.5 billion.

  15. One of my sister-in-laws brought a cranberry white chocolate snack mix to a family Christmas gathering many years ago and I have been in love with that combination ever since. I have also become a big fan of using bread flour in cookies and chilling the dough before baking. Both have made a difference in how my cookies turn out and I would love to try these!

  16. These look gorgeous! I have a cookie baking day planned with my mom on Sunday and it is SO hard to narrow it down to a reasonable amount! So many amazing choices, including this one :)

  17. Dried cranberries are quite possibly one of my favorite things. They are SO much better in cookies than raisins! These look delicious–so perfect for the holidays!

  18. oh-my-goodness these look gorgeous and delicious. I actually prefer my cookies on the simple side, and you are right in that you can never go wrong with butter and sugar (which is why vegan baking is sooo much harder haha).

    • Which is why I am no longer a vegan baker! Butter is easier to replace than eggs I find but even still, some of those vegan butters can be tricky and unpredictable. And eggs, well, they are tougher! Do-able but ya know :)

  19. Got to try these. They look out of this world delicious!

  20. Those look yummy…have any samples? lol

  21. Your Cranberry Bliss Bars are the stuff that dreams are made of and so I’m so glad that you made them into cookie form. These cookies seriously look perfect – it’s so interesting how certain flavors, like cranberries and white chocolate, are just made for each other. Lovely, lovely holiday cookies, Averie!!

    • These aren’t quite as decadent per se at the Bliss Bars…no huge thick layer of white choc cream cheese frosting but they’re dang tasty. Good to know about using fresh cranberries – I was worried that I’d have the same results as I did with fresh mango; watered down dough with flatter cookies, tasty but thinner. So I went with dried for tried and true!

  22. You’ve done it again. Another recipe to add onto my growing list of “must make asap!”. I love the white chocolate/cranberry combo. As far as using fresh cranberries in cookies, that’s what I did for my Cranberry Chocolate Oatmeal cookies. They were fabulous!

  23. This is one of my most favorite cookies ever. EVER. I lurve them ;)

  24. White chocolate + Cranberry is one of my favorite holiday combos! I recently got very industrious and dried a bunch of my own cranberries. Hello, perfect use right here! Also, I loved the way you described the cookies. It’s like I can almost taste them!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *