Now I am not normally someone who you’d say has a sweet tooth. I can walk past bakeries and cupcake shops without a problem. I almost never order dessert and don’t keep any sugary snacks at home save for some dark chocolate from Scharffen Berger.
However, the holiday spirit calls to me. Be it Channukah or Christmas, I answer to the festive call like a Pavlovian dog salivates hearing the bell ring. And what is truly bizarre is that the sweets I concoct are consumed by someone other than me. I enjoy making them. And then giving them away! I know what you’re thinking – weirdo – and I completely agree. What sane person would not eat homemade sweet goodies? Exactly!
While Thanksgiving came and went, my longing for Thanksgiving flavors haven’t yet been satiated. As far as I’m concerned, I’m still reliving the last Thursday of November with much gusto. A little pumpkin something here, some cranberry something there. Which is probably why the white chocolate cookies with cranberries and pine nuts appealed to me so much this time of year.
Normally, I like to create my own recipes and share them with you, but when it comes to cookies, I rely heavily on books, magazines and cooking shows. While I love to bake and create desserts, I like to follow exact measurements and proportions to get the job done. Some say that while cooking is an art, baking is a science and I couldn’t agree more. Thus, for this recipe, which I spied in the December 2006 issue of Bon Appetit I consulted the trusty Epicurious.com and instead of macadamia nuts, used pine nuts which I find a bit more buttery in flavor.
I’ll confess to you now, that I got the steps of the beginning mixing process a bit wrong and had to throw in an extra egg to make it a bit more moist. However, this proves to me something I suspected all along – you can’t really mess up a drop cookie recipe. For baking times, I think it all depends on your oven. Some are hotter than others and while mine takes about 12 minutes to bake a batch of cookies, yours might be a few minutes more.
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries (about 6 ounces)
3/4 cups white chocolate chips (about 4-5 ounces)
1 cup pignolia nuts (about 4 1/2 ounces)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift first 3 ingredients into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Add both sugars and beat until blended. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla. Add dry ingredients and beat just until blended. Using spatula, stir in cranberries, white chocolate chips, and nuts.
2. For large cookies, drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheets, spacing 21/2 inches apart. For small cookies, drop dough by level tablespoonfuls onto sheets, spacing 11/2 inches apart.
Bake cookies until just golden, about 18 minutes for large cookies and about 15 minutes for small cookies. Cool on sheets. Do ahead Can be made ahead. Store airtight at room temperature up to 2 days or freeze up to 2 weeks.
Makes 36 (large) or 72 (small) cookies.
TIP: to keep your cookies moist and chewy, place a slice of bread inside the cookie tin. Works like a charm!