Brandied Cranberry, White Chocolate Chip Cookies

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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 into 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.

Brandied Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

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.

Brandied Cranberry, White Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

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Ingredients

  • 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

Method

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.

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Garrett McCord

Garrett McCord is a food writer, writing instructor, culinary consultant, freelance food photographer, and recipe developer who shares his enthusiasm for food and the written word through his blog Vanilla Garlic. Garrett's cookbook, co-authored with Stephanie Stiavetti, is Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese

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Showing 4 of 46 Comments

  • Tanya

    I found this recepie by chance and decided to try. Now my whole family is nuts about these cookies. I also baked it with dark chocolate chunks from Trader Joe’s. They are great even without any brandy. Be careful, they are addictive!

  • Terri Pray

    Left the cranberries soaking for a full day, and the resulting batch of cookies —

    well, put it this way. My husband said he needs to ‘save us’ from the cookies and ‘volunteered’ to take them away from us all. This was whilst he was finishing the first cookie and reaching for the second…

  • Kat Nski

    I have made this recipe at least a half dozen times since Christmas for family and friends. These cookies are FANTASTIC! Every single person who’s tried them raves about them and requests another batch. Easy and utterly delicious. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe, Garrett.

  • Debbie

    Has anyone tried this recipe with dark chocolate chips instead of white?

    I have. It is awesome. Use semisweet chocolate. ~Garrett

  • yoko

    Yum! I’ve been scouring this site for cranberry recipes since i bought two huge bagfuls of them at costco :P

    My husband loves oatmeal cookies so I reduced the flour to 1 1/4 cup and added 3 cups of rolled oats. (kind of like Elise’s oatmeal raisin cookies)

    Since I wanted to use fresh cranberries instead of dried and I didn’t have any brandy on hand, I soaked the cranberries in a few teaspoons of sugar and bourbon. Ended up adding a few additional teaspoons of bourbon to the dough to make incorporating the oats easier.

    I already made double batches of cranberry relish and spicy cranberry sauce..onto sparkling cranberries on 101cookbooks. :D

    Thanks for sharing!

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