December 02, 2013

White Chocolate Cranberry Chunkies

I hope y'all had a good Thanksgiving! I sure did! We housed and hosted Hannons and had a ball. My husband is the middle of three boys, and they retell the same stories year after year, and we howl like we've never heard them before! We push back our chairs with full bellies and cry tears we laugh so hard. I like to think we're burning calories after we stuffed our faces. We ate pie for breakfast for three days and cold macaroni and cheese as an afternoon snack. And we watched football - both live high school playoffs on Friday night AND every single rivalry game that aired on Saturday.

The Auburn game, y'all. I'm embarrassed to say how we acted when they won; and quite frankly, I can only recall some kind of football euphoria that was deafening and rambunctious and resulted in a 32oz lemonade being knocked across the room. I'm really not sure what happened. But the bottom line is - we celebrated. Big time.

Now on to cookies!

I love cranberries. I cooked fresh cranberry relish for Thanksgiving dinner. And I love them in cookies, breads, cobblers and more. I'm a big big fan of anything tart. So it's no surprise why I adore cranberries. And it's no surprise that I adore these cookies. A divine, buttery cookie dough with dried cranberries, macadamia nuts, and white chocolate chips stirred in.  The. dough. is. to. die. for.  And the cookies are so pretty. I make absolutely certain to rotate the dough balls just right on the sheet so that there's a pretty red cranberry or two right on top. So between seasonal deliciousness and beauty, these cookies have everything going for them.

You will notice that I rarely make cookies because they require a lot of effort. Scooping, baking, moving to a cooling rack, scooping again, baking again, etc. I generally stick with a one-dish dessert that bakes one and done. The reason I say this is so you know that if I ever post a cookie recipe, then it must be good. These are worth the extra effort. So get your cooling rack out and grease your stirring-elbow....

{yields 36 small cookies}

3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs, slightly beaten*
1 tablespoon good vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts (or pecans if you'd rather)
1 cup dried cranberries**
*Euna Mae's is a Great Day Farms brand ambassador

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Cream together both sugars and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; add slightly beaten eggs and vanilla. 
On low, add flour mixture one cup at a time until just mixed. Stir in chips, nuts, and cranberries by hand with a heavy wood spoon or sturdy utensil. Be sure to spend a little extra time getting the add-ins all stirred in well so every bite has a little somethin.
Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes until just set. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before moving to a cooling rack. Cookies will sink slightly.
It is important that the cookie dough be kept chilled between batches so they don't spread. So while one batch is baking, put the bowl in the refrigerator until time to scoop them onto your baking sheet. Or scoop ALL of the dough balls at once and chill them until time to put them on a sheet to bake. Whatever you prefer, just keep the dough cold.

**A friend suggested using Trader Joe's orange-flavored cranberries!