Celebrate the arrival of the festive season with these gorgeous white chocolate, orange and cranberry cookies!
Making a batch of these cookies requires serious restrain on my part. I just love the combination of cranberry and white chocolate. I first tried it when I came across a recipe for white chocolate and cranberry cookies in Nigella Lawson’s fabulous book “Feast” (which has been my cooking bible for many years now.) I made them and fell in love instantly. The soft, chewy cookie and the creamy white chocolate with the slight tartness of the cranberries was irresistible to me.
Back then, you would have found it very difficult to find cranberry cakes and bakes in coffee shops in the U.K, but of course today it’s a different story. Starbucks, Costa coffee and many national supermarkets now have lots of seasonal cranberry treats to choose from in the form of cakes, cookies, and bars.
The recipe I’m sharing with you today is the result of a few trial and errors. I wanted to create a cookie that was soft in the middle just like a good bakery cookie should be but chewy and slightly crispy around the edges. The key to achieving this comes down to two important factors. They are:
1. Not overbaking the cookies. They only need 8-10 minutes in the oven. If you bake them for any longer, you’ll lose that soft, slightly gooey middle. But if crispy cookies are your thing, you can leave them in the oven for up to 12 minutes.
2. Pan-banging. What the heck is pan-banging, I hear you ask?
Basically, you remove the cookies from the oven after 5 minutes of baking and sharply bang the tray against a hard surface a few times. This causes the cookies to collapse and deflate a little, which will give you perfectly crisp edges and chewy centres. I have no idea why or how it works, but it gives you fabulous cookies!
I make these and my favourite spicy ginger cookies every Christmas for little gifts – they look really pretty packaged up in cellophane tied up with some festive ribbon.
But if I’m being totally honest, I usually end up having to make another batch for presents because I always end up scoffing the first lot all by myself. Oops!
Please note I have stated in the recipe that you should chill the dough before shaping – this is not essential, but it does improve the texture and flavour of the cookies!
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White Chocolate, Orange and Cranberry Cookies
- 280 g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 150 g soft butter
- finely grated zest of one large orange
- 150 g soft light brown sugar
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 medium egg, plus one egg yolk, beaten together
- 1 tbsp whole milk
- 150 g white chocolate, chopped into chunks or chocolate chips
- 100 g dried cranberries
- Grease and line two large baking sheets.
- Sift together the flour, ground cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a medium sized bowl. In a large bowl cream the butter, sugar and orange zest together until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, then beat in the milk and vanilla extract.
- Stir in the flour mixture bit by bit, mixing until the ingredients are incorporated. Stir in the white chocolate chunks and dried cranberries.
- Place the dough in the fridge and leave to rest for about 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 180C/160Fan/350F.
- Roll the dough into walnut sized pieces and place on the lined baking sheets about 4-5cm apart to allow for spreading.
- Bake for 5 minutes, then remove the cookies from the oven and bang the tray down on a heatproof surface a few times to deflate the cookies. Place back in the oven for a further 3-5 minutes or until they are tinged golden around the edges. The cookies will still be quite soft in the middle so leave on the baking trays for about 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.