Brandied Cranberry, White Chocolate Chip Cookies
This cookie has become a holiday tradition in my family and always makes an appearance during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Chunks of silky white chocolate help you ease in the holidays while warm and slightly spicy hints of brandy tickle your tongue. Plus with cranberries in full season, taking advantage of these sweet-tart garnet gems just makes sense.
Any brandy will work great with these; Cognac, Armagnac, and Kirschwasser (a cherry brandy) are particularly fantastic. To give a little extra flavor I add a teaspoon of the brandy that the cranberries soaked in. If you want, you can forego the brandy altogether and just use a teaspoon of vanilla extract (though that does have alcohol) and they’ll still taste great.
- 1 cup of brandy (to soak the cranberries in, then saving 1 1/4 teaspoons of it for later)
- 1 cup of dried cranberries
- 1 cup (two sticks) of butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup of lightly packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of white chocolate chips
1 Put the cranberries in a wide and shallow bowl, pour in a bit of brandy. Enough so they're surrounded by it, but not drowning. Cover and place in the fridge for an hour or more. Afterwards, place a colander over a bowl and pour the cranberries and brandy through, putting the cranberries and the brandy they soaked in aside.
2 Preheat oven to 375°F. Beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugars and beat again until light, fluffy and well incorporated.
3 Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and add 1 1/4 teaspoons of the brandy that the cranberries soaked in (as for the rest, I suggest popping it in a glass and topping it off a bit for yourself). Beat well until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl midway through to ensure even mixing.
4 Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt, then add to the mixture a bit at a time, beating until just mixed. Fold in the brandy soaked cranberries and white chocolate chips. Let chill for 15 minutes in the fridge.
5 Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (a baker's best friend) and place rounded spoonfuls down on the sheet. Bake at 375°F for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for a minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
*I find that adding the baking soda separately seems to form softer cookies. This is how my mom and grandmother taught me, and if there is actual science behind it, I'm not aware but it seems pretty consistent, and it won't ruin the cookies if you try it this way.