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 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



  • 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.

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Showing 4 of 48 Comments

  • jonathan

    Without a doubt, the first cookie recipe I’ve ever seen with the potential of registering .08 on a Breathalyzer test :-)

    Question, Garrett…
    Why is the baking soda added separately, and not mixed into and then added with the other dry ingredients? Something to do with the alcohol content?

    I just find that adding baking soda separately makes these cookies much softer. -Garrett

  • jennbec

    These are one of my signature cookies but I make mine with dried blueberries instead of cranberries. So so so good! Beautiful picture. :)

  • Kinsey

    Could you produce similar effects by soaking raisins in apple brandy prior to adding to oatmeal raisin cookies–Apple brandy is what we have on hand, thanks to Cooks Illustrated Pork Medallions with Apple Cider Pan Sauce (mmm…pork wrapped in bacon!)

    Anyway, oatmeal cookies are my husband’s favorite, I’m sure he’d like the added punch of some brandy!

    I might think so, you would have to try it yourself. Elise has a great oatmeal raisin cookie recipe on the site, you should give it a shot and let us know how it goes! – Garrett

  • Lisa_S.

    Ok, I used salted butter (Land O Lakes) but only added half a teaspoon of salt. I forgot to chill the dough for 15 minutes. And, I didn’t have any parchment paper – I just used Grandma’s real steel cookie sheets. How do they look? (Hint: click the link on my name to peek.)

    Lisa, they look big and delicious! Parchment paper isn’t a requirement, just a suggestion to make life easier. Chilling the dough helps from preventing any stray buttery bits from getting melty and burning in the oven, helping to retain firm chewy cookies.

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