by / Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dark Chocolate & Cranberry Cookies

So, I'm already tossing around ideas for my holiday goodie plates to pass out to teachers, bus drivers, and neighbors.  I want to include something savory like nuts or seasoned pretzels or a snack mix.  I want to include a candy-type item like a salted almond bark or something along those lines...maybe some dried fruit thrown in ?  And of course, I need to include a few different types of cookies.  I thought these with the dark chocolate and dried cranberry combo would be a good choice, but when I after making them, I'm not so sure.  I mean, were they good?  Yes.  Were they memorable?  Probably not.  This is a cakey-sort of cookie, which doesn't happen to be my favorite...I'm more of a chewy cookie kind of gal.  But I'm thinking I could transform them by making them again and substituting baking soda for the baking powder.  It's definitely worth a try since the flavor match-up is stellar.  I'm not saying they're not getting eaten, though.  Everybody has different tastes, and I'm guessing some people probably prefer their cookies cakey.  If you have any great holiday cookie, candy, nut, or savory mix recipes that you think would make a good addition to my goodie boxes, I'd love it if you'd leave a link (and even a photo, if you like...there's a little camera/link option in the comments themselves) in the comments section!  After all, a girl can never have too many choices.
Dark Chocolate & Cranberry Cookies
adapted from Apples to Jam
yield: 3 dozen

11 Tbs. butter, at room temperature
½ c. brown sugar, firmly packed
½ c. superfine sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2⅔ c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder*
1½ tsp. salt
1½ c. dark chocolate chips or chunks
1 c. dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.  Add in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla.  Beat until light and fluffy again.  Add flour, baking powder*, and salt.  Beat until just combined.  Fold in chocolate and cranberries using a wooden spoon or rubber scraper.

Scoop by scant tablespoons full onto a parchment or silpat lined sheet tray.  Slide into oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until just golden around the edges.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.

*These cookies are somewhat cake-like, due to the use of baking powder (which puffs).  Try substituting baking soda (which spreads) for chewier cookies.

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Heather is a Michiana-based food, drink, and travel writer with a fondness for garlic, freshly baked bread, stinky cheese, dark beer, and Mexican food—who believes that immersing herself in different cultures one bite at a time is the best path to enlightenment.


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