Brandied Cranberry, White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cranberry white chocolate cookies recipe. Dried cranberries are first soaked in brandy before being added to the cookie batter.

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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Comments

  1. 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

  2. jennbec

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Debra

    Hi Garrett –
    I have three questions:
    1. How would you describe the texture of these cookies: chewy, crisp/crunchy, or cake-like?
    2. Is the flour scooped or spooned & leveled?
    3. About how many cookies does this recipe yield? Two dozens?
    Looking forward to giving these a try. Thanks!

    Debra-
    1) A bit chewy, a bit crispy.
    2) Just measure it in a measuring cup and level it off. A cup is a measured cup, not “what looks like a cup.”
    3) A little more than two dozen.

  6. Diana

    What non-alcoholic alternative can I use to soak the cranberries in? The recipe looks wonderful, although I think that I will try the dark chocolate as others have suggested.

    Thanks.
    Not sure, you could just not soak them. Maybe you could use juice, but not sure if that would affect the recipe as I never tried it that way. -Garrett

  7. Louise

    I tried these this weekend, and they are DELICIOUS. Definitely my new favorite cookie for the season. Mine don’t look like the picture, however – they turned out cakier. Is this because I overmixed? I used a Kitchen Aid mixer and sort of walked away for a minute while they were on the final mix. Whatever the case, they’re still fabulous and I’ll be making them again and again.

  8. Sue

    Wonderful Cookies. As my family doesn’t drink, I opted to use orange juice in place of the Brandy, gave it a nice citrusy tang, but not over the top. Balanced out nicely with the cranberries and sugar. Will definetly make these again real soon. =)

  9. Amanda

    Mine turned out a little two cake-y too Louise! I’m pretty sure mine was from over-mixing (my roommate had never made homemade cookies and was really into the mixing…). I’m trying these again this week, but I’m going to make sure to be in charge the whole time! :)

  10. Gloriana

    These are AMAZING! I’ve had cranberry white chocolate cookies before but the brandy adds a dimension that take these to a whole other level. The flavor is so subtle that very few can put their finger on it. Perfect secret ingredient….BRILLIANT!

  11. Ariane

    This recipe is amazing. I never heard of brandied cranberries, but it really makes the world of a difference. Cranberries are sweeter, not the usual tartness, not too dry. I think I will use this technique for all my cranberries recipes!

  12. Marisa

    I know that alcohol cooks out, but does it bake out?? Just wondering if I can safely serve these to my niece and nephew, 4 and 6 years old…

    Vanilla extract actually has an alcohol base and it gets so dispersed through the cookie it bakes out fine. As for the brandy in the cranberries, it should bake out for the most, if not the whole, part. I think you could eat the whole batch and be feel just fine; I know I ate plenty. Still, try a few cookies, see how they taste, and make the decision for yourself. -Garrett

  13. SC

    I just tried the recipe. The cookies are delicious — really like the brandied cranberries. But the cookies are a bit cakier (as pointed out by Louise and Amanda). Maybe reducing the amount of flour would make a difference?

    Also, i used regular chocolate instead of white chocolate. I think the taste of chocolate is a bit too strong that almost covers the cranberries. I suggest to reduce the amount to half or 3/4 cup if regular chocolate is used.

  14. F Martin

    Awesome cookies!

  15. Sami

    On a lark I put in slivered almonds instead of the originally intended walnuts and let me say this:

    Thank god for flip-flopping.

    Seriously, add 1 cup of slivered almonds and you will never look back.

  16. Susan

    I made these last night with a cherry brandy and they were delicious! I’m not a fan of crunchy cookies, so I loved the cakey consistency. Next time, I will definitely add additional cranberries. Thanks Lisa S. for the suggestion of cutting the salt when using salted butter.

  17. amanda

    Hello,
    I’d love to make these cookies to give as gifts for the holidays, but I’m wondering if it’s possible to freeze this dough, or to freeze the baked cookies? I’d love to be able to prepare these in advance, just not sure how the dried fruit would fare.

    Also, how many cookies does the recipe make?

    Thanks!

    -amanda

    The recipe should it make 2 1/2 – 3 dozen, give or take. As for freezing the dough or the cookies, most recipes are perfectly okay with it. You’ll have to try it yourself and let us know how it works. ~Garrett

  18. Barb

    After eating these cookies, my husband said, “This is the best cookie I’ve ever had.” Wow.

  19. Susi from Germany

    I made them – they’re great!
    I used a lot less sugar that it says in the recipe though.
    All the best from Germany and many thanks for yet another great recipe!

  20. KT

    I made these cookies almost immediately after you posted the recipe and they were the best I’d ever had! I was housesitting at the time, and much to my dismay the dogs ate them ALL off the cooling racks while I called my mom to tell her how delicous they were. Tragic.
    Well, I tried again today and doubled the recipe to share with the office. Delicious! I added a bit of extra flour for high altitude and they’re a bit crunchy.
    Garrett or Elise, any experience baking at altitude or advice on how to tweak recipes? Thanks! Keep up the good work.

  21. Tonya

    I’m not sure what was better — the cookies or the brandy that the berries soaked in, but both were yummy.

  22. Erin

    I just made these last night for a cookie exchange and they were delicious. I live at high altitude and baked them exactly from the recipe and they were delicious. I use half butter and half margarine and my cookies always turn out just fine. Too much butter and they flatten out like pancakes. I also find that cookies with less than one cup of sugar(s) do much better at altitude. I did not soak the cranberries as I didn’t have any brandy and they are still delicious. My 16 year old had a few for breakfast!

  23. Amanda

    I made these last night. We were out of brandy, so I actually used cognac and it was fine. I’m sure it’s not quite as sweet, though.
    They make such pretty cookies!

  24. Patti

    I made these for Christmas gift tins and also for my holiday entertaining cookie trays. They were wonderful and enjoyed by all. These will definitely be made again next year.

    Funny story, I loved to watch the look on people’s faces as they tried to figure out, “What is that flavor?” Most thought they were picking up a chocolate chip cookie, but not so. They were picking up something even better.

  25. Melissa

    Wow. Just made these and subbed in fresh chopped cherries for the brandied cranberries, then added almond extract instead of the brandy, and they came out amazingly. I have way too many cherries this time of year and this was a very good base to start from. Thanks!!

    Oooh! I bet almond extract in these cookies tasted amazing! ~Garrett

  26. Sofia

    These cookies are unbelievably good. I added a tiny bit of cinnamon, which worked out nicely. Next time I’ll try them with bittersweet chocolate chips.

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  27. Nicole

    I’m trying this recipe right now. I picked up some cherry brandy (which I had to try two liquor stores to find) and I decided to put in a cinnamon stick while the cranberries soak. I just tasted the pre-baked batter and it’s DELICIOUS. The little extra pop added by the brandy is a nice touch. They just came out of the oven and they’re pretty good. The temp was too hot for my oven so I dropped it a bit for the second tray. They taste really good! Though there is a slightly strange flavor that I can’t quite identify… It might be the brandy? Still, they’re good. Thanks for the recipe!

  28. Patti

    Garrett–

    These cookies have become a family tradition in my home too. I made them for the first time last Christmas, 2007 and I have to tell you what happened. The cookies look like ordinary chocolate chip cookies, but with first bite, you know they’re not. The look on my guests faces were priceless. They’d say, “What are these and grab another one?”

    I’m looking forward to making them again this year.

  29. Marchel

    Okay, so here I am baking cookies for our annual Christmas Cookie Party. I’ve made so far the chocolate peppermint, the heath bar and I have the almond crescents waiting on deck.

    I just pulled these cookies out of the oven and oh my gosh! I don’t even like white chocolate, frankly I think it is a waste of calories, not enough intensity for me. But I thought the cookie party gals would like them. However, these cookies are awesome!! With the other recipes (all good don’t get me wrong!) I’ve baked 3 dozen of each and then put the rest of the dough in the freezer.

    These however, I’m baking the whole recipe! Run don’t walk to the market to get the ingredients for these cookies. BTW, I must have nuts in my cookies, so I added some chopped pecans.

    Wonderful, thank you!

  30. Liz

    I love these cookies! They taste fantastic! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  31. Kit

    These are terrific cookies. So good that I wondered if the recipe could be transformed to make similar muffins.

    Ideas, anyone?

    And Merry Christmas, Elise!

  32. Jean

    Would I be able to use pistoles in place of chips?

    You mean the chocolate gold coins? I don’t see why not, just break them up a bit. It will be a different cookie than the one listed here that uses white chocolate. ~Elise

  33. Kay

    I’ve made these cookies twice between Christmas and Inauguaration day. DELICOUS. They have officially been added to the cookie arsenal. I’ve made them with pecans and without. Equally tasty.

  34. Morgan

    Really lovely.
    Whole family raved about them.
    I didn’t use any brandy at all as we didn’t have any.
    Still turned out wonderfully.

    Thanks for the recipe.

  35. Beth

    I was hugely disappointed in what I thought from the reviews would be a great cookie. While the essential flavor was good, they were too cakey for me. I prefer a crisp cookie and these were not. Mine didn’t look anything like the picture. No one ate them which is too bad because I hate to waste food and money.

    For a crispier cookie, bake them longer. =) ~Garrett

  36. Warren

    Great receipe but instead of brandy I used an aged dark rum (Ron Zacapa). Since this rum has a heaving brown sugar and vanilla note I cut back the vanilla. I also put a dash of cinnamon in. They turned out amazing.

  37. Cassie

    What if I want to use fresh cranberries? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!!

    Never tried them. Give it a shot and let us know how it turns out. =) ~Garrett

  38. Bethany

    I didn’t have brandy at home so I used some rum and it turned out beautifully. Great cookies!

  39. Arisbel

    I just tried these with fresh cranberries and out brandying them, they are DElicious :)

  40. PineappleGirl53

    I made these and really enjoyed them. The next time however, I will marinate them longer and use less white chocolate chips. They were really good.

  41. Katie

    These cookies are the BEST! I use Southern Comfort and soak the cranberries usually for 2 days before making the cookies. They seem to come out moister that way.

    Very DELICIOUS!!

  42. asdas

    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?

    Nope. Adding it separately makes the cookies softer. Not sure of the chemical process as to why but my tests seem to always point this way. ~Garrett

  43. 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!

  44. Debbie

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

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

  45. 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.

  46. 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…

  47. jutta

    Brandied cranberry, white chocolate chip cookies are one of my favorite cookies. Happy to find the recipe and I I appreciate you very much for this. I’ll try to make them at home.