I'm adding white chocolate chunks and plump cranberries to my favorite almond sugar cookie recipe to create a bakery-style Soft & Chewy White Chocolate and Cranberry Cookie. These come together quickly with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.
White Chocolate and Cranberry is an amazing combination
Bright tart cranberries, a hint of almond, and a creamy bite of white chocolate is a great switch up from a 'stuck in a rut' chocolate chip cookie routine. Not that I'm against chocolate chip cookies! But, it's nice to switch things up now and then.
Soft & Chewy Cookie Base
The base of this recipe is my go-to favorite sugar cookie recipe. It's chewy and soft in the middle, crispy on the edges, and has a lovely light almond flavor. It's so flexible and comes together quickly. A 30 minute chill in the refrigerator will help these beauties bake up and puff, rather than spread out and go flat.
recipe swaps? You can sub out the white chocolate & cranberry
Be flexible! Add in some macadamia nuts, or swap out the cranberries for freeze-dried raspberries or strawberries. Use a white chocolate bar cut into chunks, or white chocolate chips work great, too.
Tips for soft & chewy cookies
Cream the butter and sugar thoroughly to make it a whipped consistency. This allows the sugar to dissolve and coat the flour.
Add the flour and mix thoroughly but don't over-mix or the cookie can become dense and tough.
Measure and form the dough cookie balls (I make mine about 50g each which is about 2 Tablespoons or a golf ball size) then chill the cookie balls for at least 30 minutes. You can chill the bowl of cookie batter, it's just a little harder to scoop the balls. Save yourself some wrist strain and make the balls when the dough is softer, then chill.
Bake in a fully pre-heated oven. If you're swapping out a hot cookie tray and going to add cold dough to the tray to bake the next batch, a trick is to pre-place the cold cookie dough balls on parchment on the counter, then slide the parchment onto the warm tray. That way, you're not placing ball by ball onto a hot tray and by the time you've got your last cookie placed, the first one is ½ melted. That causes spread.
Pull the cookies from the oven before they start to brown. They should appear a little under-done in the middle and *barely* starting to turn golden on the edges. You'll also avoid over-browning of the white chocolate chunks. They'll finish cooking on the tray once you pull them out. Then, let the cookies rest for a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.
For tips with high elevation baking, this is my favorite resource! CSU EXTENSION HIGH ELEVATION BAKING.
Soft & Chewy White Chocolate and Cranberry Cookie Recipe
- 1 ½ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt if using salted butter reduce this to ¼ teaspoon
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup butter, softened 1 stick, room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon almond extract or more per taste
- 4.4 ounces white chocolate bar (1 large bar) cut into chunks or 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 350f and prepare cookie trays with parchment or Silpat baking mats for even baking and simple clean-up.
- Combine flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a medium-large mixing bowl beat the softened butter with sugar until whipped and lightened in color. About 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically.
- Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla and almond extract. Mix again until thoroughly combined.
- Add the dry ingredients either gradually or in 2 batches (just so the mixture doesn't poof up and escape the bowl). Mix until thoroughly combined. Avoid over-beating.
- Add the chopped white chocolate and cranberries and mix. (optional: hold back a few pieces of chocolate and cranberry to place on the top of each cookie just before baking).
- This dough should be chilled 30 minutes before baking so you can either form the cookie balls now and chill, or you can chill the whole bowl and form them as you place them on the cookie sheet.
- Form cookie balls, about golf ball size - that's about 2 full tablespoons or 50g or 2 oz. If you measure for this amount you'll get about 15 cookies that are 4-5 inches in diameter. If you saved back a few cranberries and pieces of chocolate, place them on top of the cookie balls and push in slightly. As they bake, you'll see they remain on top and will be a pretty presentation.
- Bake at 350f in the center of the oven for 9-10 minutes. I place 6 cookies per tray and bake one tray at a time. If you are using 2 trays, simply swap their positions in the oven ½ way through baking.
- Cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.