Christmas Recap with Cranberry + White Chocolate Cookies

Happy Holidays readers! I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season and is ready to celebrate the New Year! I, for one, had a fantastic holiday. We hosted brunch this year, as we have the last 2 years since Ro was born. It’s just easier to keep her home and have our families come to us. I also love entertaining, we don’t have a lot of space but we try to make it work!


Every year I feel like my cheese board gets more and more elaborate. I actually ran out of room on this one and considered having a second board. I opted to hoard the Brie and Apricot preserves for myself…as a new years eve appetizer.

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The smoked salmon platter was also a big hit. Thanks for the inspo Pinterest! I made 3 kinds of quiche, including the popular Spinach, Mushroom, Bacon and Swiss Quiche, and breakfast potatoes. Along with all of this, we needed something sweet! So I made a Challah bread french toast bake topped with cinnamon sugar and fresh blueberries.

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There was plenty of coffee, wine, and blackberry mimosas. I made a blackberry simple syrup the night before by bringing 1cup water, 1 cup sugar and 1 pint of blackberries to a boil and then simmered for 20 minutes. Strained and stored overnight. In the morning I rimmed champagne flutes with sugar and in went the prosecco, blackberry syrup, a fresh berry and rosemary for garnish. It was a fun-filled day that I am still recovering from. I had this week off between Christmas and New Years and I have done nearly nothing, as intended.

I had planned on posting these cookies before Christmas, in case any readers wanted to make them for the holiday. But the holiday season as Mom/Santa got the best of me and I just couldn’t find a minute to sit down and write it up. I figure, if you have any New Years Eve parties to go to these would also be a festive and welcome hit! Or you can just make them for yourself, because who doesn’t like cookies? Cranberries and white chocolate? It’s practically like vegetables.

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The key ingredient here is cornstarch. It keeps them soft which I will be using ALL THE TIME. I love soft cookies.

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What I also discovered when gathering ingredients for this recipe is they make dried cranberries infused with different berry juices now. So I ended up using cherry infused dried cranberries after Brett asked for these blondies to be made when cherries are out of season.

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I should also warn you that these cookies do require refrigerating the dough. 2 hours is preferred, but if you are like me and don’t plan ahead well enough, 1 hour in the freezer does it. 😉

 

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Soft Baked White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

Yield about 2 dozen

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened.
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 – 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 – 1 cup dried cranberries

In a large bowl (or stand mixer with paddle attachment) beat butter for 1 minute until smooth. Add brown and white sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.

In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cornstarch. On low speed, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ones. Add chocolate chips and cranberries until just combined. I sometimes just fold them in with a spatula outside my stand mixer. Cover dough with foil or parchment paper and chill for about 2 hours.

After chilling, let cookie dough sit at room temperature for about 10-20 minutes and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using a spoon (or hands) you can break off pieces of the cookie dough to form balls (about 1 tablespoon each). The dough will be a little crumbly but the warmth from your hands when rolling them into balls will firm them back together. Place 10-12 balls on parchment lined baking sheets evenly apart and bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges are barely golden brown. Allow to cool on the sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.

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