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~ Cranberry, Walnut & White Chocolate Chip Cookies ~

IMG_3734Dried cranberries, aka craisins, are one of my favorite dried fruits.  They are at the top of my list right next to dried sour cherries -- with craisins being more available and affordable.  So much so, there's always a bag on-hand in my kitchen for the sole purpose of snacking.  Craisins are not just tart and sweet, they're tart and sweet on steroids.  There's more.  They are fantastic incorporated into any raisin or sour cherry cookie recipe (in place of the raisins or sour cherries).  The recipe I'm sharing today is one of my favorite drop cookies to bake during the holidays -- with craisins, walnuts and white chocolate chips being one of my favorite cookie or quick-bread combinations.   

One of my favorite combination cookies all year long...

IMG_3698For the dry ingredients:

2 1/4  cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

1  teaspoon baking powder

1  teaspoon baking soda

1  teaspoon salt

For the wet ingredients:

1  cup salted butter (2 sticks) at room temperature, very soft

2  large eggs

3/4   cup granulated sugar

3/4  cup lightly-packed dark brown sugar

2  teaspoons pure cranberry extract

2  teaspoons pure walnut extract

2  teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the add-ins:

1  generous cup craisins (dried cranberries)

1  generous cup coarse-chopped walnuts, lightly-toasted in a 350° oven for 4-5 minutes

1  generous cup Nestlë white chocolate morsels

IMG_3700~ Step 1.  Preheat oven to 350°.  Line 5 large baking pans with parchment. In a medium bowl, place and thoroughly stir the dry ingredients: the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  When oven is preheated, place the walnuts on a small baking pan.  Roast on center rack of oven until lightly-toasted and fragrant, 5-6 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

IMG_3702 IMG_3702 IMG_3702 IMG_3702 IMG_3702 IMG_3702~Step 2.  In a large bowl, place the softened butter, eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar and all  extracts.  On high speed of hand-held electric mixer, beat until thoroughly combined and creamy, 30-45 seconds.  Add the dry ingredients. On low speed of mixer and with the aid of a large rubber spatula, incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  A thick, cookie dough will have formed.  Add the craisins, walnuts and white chocolate chips.  Using the spatula, thoroughly fold the add-ins into the cookie dough.

IMG_3723 IMG_3723 IMG_3723~Step 3.  Using a 1 1/2" ice-cream scoop, place 12-15 balls of cookie dough on each pan.  Bake cookies, one-pan-at-a-time, in 350° oven, 9-10 minutes.  Cookies will be very lightly browned around the edges and tops.  Do not over-bake these cookies.  Remove from oven and allow to cool on pan 1-1 1/2 minutes, then use a thin spatula to transfer cookies from pan to wire rack to cool completely.

... perfect for the Thanksgiving & Christmas holidays too. 

IMG_3739Cranberry, Walnut & White Chocolate Chip Cookies:  Recipe yields 5 1/2 dozen 2"-round cookies.  

Special Equipment List: 5, 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pans; parchment paper; spoon; hand-held electric mixer; large rubber spatula; 1 1/2" ice-cream scoop; thin spatula; wire cooling rack

6a0120a8551282970b0240a4cc256e200dCook's Note: Cherry-vanilla is one of my favorite flavor combinations. Cherry-vanilla or black-cherry-vanilla cream soda, cherry-vanilla ice-cream, cherry-vanilla milkshakes, cherry-vanilla yogurt and cherry-vanilla biscotti -- to name a few. I didn't invent the idea for cherry-vanilla fudge, but once I had a great base recipe for fudge, cherry-vanilla was my first spin-off. Try making my ~ Double-Cherry & Double-Vanilla Lover's Fudge ~ using craisins and cranberry extract in place of dried cherries and cherry extract.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2022)


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