White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

It’s Christmas time and that means baking cookies for friends and family.  I usually bake a batch of spritz, Italian cookies, pizzellespretzel turtles and may be a batch of chocolate chip cookies.  Then I try a new recipe or two in an effort to add to my repertoire.   None from last year made the cut.

The new recipes this year are White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies from Sally’s Baking Addiction and confetti cookies from Smitten Kitchen (I’ll write a separate post for this).

The White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies are okay.  They are probably better than okay… But personally, they didn’t wow me so I’ll have to wait on verdicts from the friends and family members.

Soso has tried one already and she likes them. But she did mention that the one advantage to this cookie is that you won’t eat too many.  Doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement, does it?  I don’t want to give a bad impression though.  They are perfectly fine cookies. May be someone is a dried cranberry fan and will pick this cookie over the fabulous chocolate chip cookie.  May be you’ll eat this cookie because you hate dark chocolate.  May be if you’re going to eat five cookies, this will be one of your five.  But in all honesty, if I could eat only one of my cookies, it would be this one.

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 40 mins
Makes: 2.5 dozen cookies

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
3/4 cup dried cranberries

Directions

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until completely smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix until fluffy and light in color. Beat in egg and vanilla.

On low-speed, slowly add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined. Add the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries mix on low for a few seconds until evenly disbursed. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. This cookie dough must be chilled.

Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes for 2 hour chill time. If chilled longer than 2 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Scoop about 1.5 tablespoon of dough each and roll the dough into balls. Place 10 – 12 on each baking sheet 1.5 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

Shrimp Pancit Canton

Pancit bihon is made out of rice vermicelli noodles and pancit canton is made out of wheat. Pancit Canton is basically Filipino version of lo mein. Ingredients and seasoning are similar so the noodles are the key difference.

I can’t vouch for the authenticity of my recipe, but I can’t promise you that it’s delicious!

Pancit Canton with Shrimp

Serves: 6 – 8
Prep time: 15 mins Cook time 30 mins

*Most recipes had the noodles cooked in broth until the liquid is absorbed. I prefer to cook it separately.

Ingredients

1 16-ounce package pancit canton(Excellent brand recommended)
2 tablespoon canola oil, divided
1 small sweet onion, julienned
3 carrots, julienned
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced diagonally
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small head of cabbage, shredded
1 pound medium-sized shrimp, shelled and de-veined, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper
1-3 tablespoons soy sauce or to taste
1-2 tablespoons oyster sauce or fish sauce to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Direction

In a large pot, bring salted water to boil and cook the noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok or a large saute pan on high heat and swirl to coat. When pan is hot, stir-fry onion, carrots and celery until just softened, about 1 minute. Add garlic and cabbage and fry until the cabbage is cooked down and tender. This could take up to 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste and remove the vegetables to a bowl and set aside.

Add the remaining oil, swirl to coat and fry the shrimp until pink.

Add the noodles and vegetables to the wok. Gently mix. Add soy sauce, oyster sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or at room temperature. If refrigerated, the noodles need to be reheated.

Slow Cooker Vegetable Barley Soup

This isn’t a great photo, but the soup came out delicious! The recipe is from Cookin’ Canuk. I added another carrot and stalk of celery and a can of low sodium red beans for protein.

Slow Cooker Vegetable Barley Soup

Prep time: 20 mins Cook time: 8 hours
Serves: 6 – 8

Ingredients

3 carrots, peeled and sliced in half circles
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 small sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cup frozen green beans
3/4 cup pearl barley
1 14oz can low sodium pink beans
1 14oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
8 cups vegetable broth
handful chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Combine all ingredients except for parsley in a large slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Remove bay leaf and discard. Salt and pepper to taste. Add parsley before serving.