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.

Heart Broken Over Broken Hearts

I haven’t had the energy, the mood or the time to cook much these days.  I asked Soso to pick something to bring to school for her birthday that would not involve me baking.  She picked brownies. 

But I would have to bake the brownies honey. 

You can buy them at the store, Mommy.

Well, that got my creative juices and motivation going.  Store-bought brownies, in my opinion, are the worst.  I can live with store-bought cakes, cupcakes, pies, even muffins, but I have yet to taste a half-way decent store-bought brownies.  Oh, the horror.

Then, I remembered the most adorable, really there’s no other word for it, perhaps darling, brownies I had ever seen.  It was the day after Valentine’s Day and I remember thinking what a shame that I’ll have to wait a whole year to make them.

White and dark hearted brownies from Smitten Kitchen are seriously beyond cute.  And I’m not really a cutesy gal.  Go ahead.  Click on the link.  I’ll wait.  *drum drum drum*  Am I right?  Adorable, darling, cute level factor equivalent of say baby feet.  Immediate urges to gobble them up. *shrug* Or maybe that’s just me.

The instructions were simple enough and I had the 1 inch heart-shaped cookie cutter.  I had to make these for Soso’s birthday.  She would love them.  She would be so excited and you know me, I live to make my daughter happy.

Everything came out perfect until I started cutting the brownies.  I needed 2×2 squares.  I took out my ruler and saw to my utter dismay that the brownie was not a true 8×8.  It was a 7.5 x 7.5.  If I trimmed the sides a bit to remove the hard parts, a 7 x 7.  No way was I going to get the minimum 20 squares I needed for school.  I tried a smaller square and the result was a broken heart.

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It was 9 PM last night and I was lost.  I finally cut the dark and white brownies into small and medium rectangles.  I put a small piece on top of the medium piece, alternating the colors.  Then I realized that I only had regular toothpicks for inserts.  I almost went out to the supermarket last night to get the more festive toothpicks, but there was snow on the car (yes, we had snow the past two days!).  I was too tired to clean it up.

If you saw me running around like a mad person at the local A&P or saw me parked outside the school inserting toothpicks into brownies, now you know why.

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I had enough brownies to make one white hearted brownie for Soso.  The irony in all this and why D asserts that I’m crazy – Soso would have been just as happy serving and eating store bought brownies.

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By the way, Deb from Smitten mentioned that it was important to get a decent quality white chocolate. This was the best I could find in my local supermarket. I found it a little too sweet. When I make these again, and I promise you I will, I plan on reducing the sugar. Maybe leave out the 2 extra tablespoon worth.

If anyone has tips for me or explanation as to why my supposed 8 x 8 resulted in a smaller size, please, please let me know!