Baking has always played an important role in my life. Many mornings and afternoons were spent with my grandmother and great-grandmother baking bread and every Christmas my Mom would bake up a cookie extravaganza, allowing me to help. My earliest baking memories involve decorating gingerbread families with gumdrop buttons, helping stir the batter (and lick the spoon of course) for russian teacakes and assisting Mom in making my favorite, molasses cookies. When I lived in Orange County I often baked cookies for friends even taking special requests. When my husband and I planned our wedding it seemed only natural that the favors for our guests would be homebaked cookies (I’m pretty sure my cookies are one of the reasons he married me). My husband thought I was crazy to take on this endeavor, but my sister Kate and I spent one afternoon and very late night baking more than 280 cookies so each of our 70 guests could take home 4 cookies (2 chocolate chip, 2 chocolate decadence) as a thank you for sharing our special day. So cookies to me mean treats, friends and family.
While every Tuesday’s treat will not necessarily revolve around food, I baked up these cookies last night and couldn’t resist sharing because they are a perfect Tuesday treat. They combine two things I love and consider indulgences, chocolate and dried fruit. The result is chocolatey goodness with a surprising sweet tanginess in every bite. I make these for friends around the holidays and they are always a hit!
Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 c. butter (melted)
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 3/4 c. brown sugar (packed)
- 1 large egg
- 2 egg whites
- 2 c. semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
- 1 c. dried cranberries
DO NOT PREHEAT YOUR OVEN (yes, you read that right).
Unwrap your two sticks of butter, put them in a microwave safe bowl and microwave 45 seconds or until melted. In a big bowl combine 3/4 c. granulated sugar, 3/4 c. brown sugar (packed) and the melted butter. Beat with an electric mixer on low-speed. Once blended, beat in 1 large egg and 2 egg whites.
Once blended, add in 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. salt and 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Beat on low-speed until blended. Add 2 c. flour. Beat on low-speed until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and cranberries.
Cover bowl and refrigerate 1 hour or more until dough is firm.
Preheat oven to 375 and take dough out of refrigerator. Scoop dough with either a cookie scoop or spoon to the desired size and place on a nonstick baking sheet. Bake 9-11 minutes (I bake 9, then check, will usually give it 1 more minute if the cookies are big). Take the cookies out of the oven once they are solid but before they are completely brown and let sit on the cookie sheet 1-2 minutes (they will continue to bake a bit). Place cookies on a cooling rack. Let cool 3-5 minutes (or until you can pick them up without burning your fingers) and serve.
Yields 2-3 dozen depending on size. I like to keep the dough in the refrigerator and make a few of these at a time. That way we can enjoy just out of the oven cookies for 1-2 weeks.