I’ve always been meaning to create a cookie with the combination of cranberries and white chocolate. White chocolate alone is too sweet and I love cranberries, so this seemed like the perfect holiday cookie! A nice attribute of this cookie is that it improves with age. After a day or two you’ll find that the flavors meld and develop. They can be stored in a tightly covered container at room temperature for two weeks, refrigerated for four weeks, or frozen for up to three months.
These cookies are crisp, chewy, and alive with the tang of cranberries, and the white chocolate bits melt in the mouth. Both the cranberries and white chocolate blend best with the lemon zest but you can substitute an equal amount of dark chocolate and orange zest.
And if you wish, for a festive look, you can dip part of the edge in melted white chocolate and sprinkles.
150 grams (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) dried cranberries
170 grams (6 ounces) white chocolate, high quality containing cocoa butter, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven: Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack at the middle level. Set the oven at 175˚C (350˚F).
2. Mise en Place:
Thirty minutes to 1 hour ahead, cut the butter into 15 ml (1 tablespoon) size pieces. Set it on the counter to soften.
Thirty minutes ahead, into a 237 ml (1 cup) glass measure with a spout, weigh or measure the egg. Whisk in the vanilla extract. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set it on the counter.
With dish washing liquid, wash, rinse, and dry the lemon before zesting it.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
3. For the dough:
Food Processor Method
In a food processor, process the sugar and lemon zest until the zest is very fine.
With the motor running, add the butter one piece at a time, processing until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add the egg mixture and process just until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Add the cranberries and pulse until coarsely chopped, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times.
Add the flour mixture and pulse just until the flour is incorporated.
Scrape the dough into a bowl and, with a silicone spatula or large spoon, stir in the chocolate.
Stand Mixer Method
Coarsely chop the cranberries and set them in a small bowl.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter, sugar, and grated lemon zest on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until lighter in color and fluffy.
Gradually add the egg mixture, beating until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
On low speed, gradually beat in the flour mixture just until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add the cranberries and chocolate and beat only until incorporated.
4. Both Methods:
Divide the dough in half (about 370 grams each). Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and flatten into a 5 inch disc. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, until firm enough to shape.
5. Roll the Dough into Balls:
Divide one piece of the dough into 12 walnut-size pieces (about 30 grams/2 tablespoons each). Roll each piece of dough in the palms of your hands to form a ball.
Place the balls no closer than 4 cm (1-1/2 inches) apart on a cookie sheet, in 3 rows of 4 cookies.
6. Bake the Cookies:
Bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the cookie sheet halfway around. Continue baking for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown. Repeat with the second batch.
7. Cool the Cookies:
Set the cookie sheet on a wire rack and let the cookies cool for 3 to 5 minutes, until firm enough to lift from the sheet. Use a thin pancake turner to transfer the cookies to another wire rack. Cool completely.
Airtight at room temperature, 2 weeks
Refrigerated, 1 month
Frozen, 3 months.
Having tested and tasted several times, these are equally delicious with bittersweet chocolate or a mix of chocolates with the cranberries. No special occasion required!