Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies

cranberry blissThese cookies are very Christmasy! Their color of red and white is really pretty, and the sweet white chocolate goes well with the tart cranberries. A cream cheese frosting is also really nice. This recipe makes a pretty large batch, so you can definitely halve it. The original recipe is from here.

Ingredients (about 4 dozen cookies)
Cookies:
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
227g (1 cup) butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips/chunks
1 cup dried cranberries

Frosting:
200g (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white chocolate chips/chunks, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar

Topping:
1 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/4 cup white chocolate chips/chunks, melted

Instructions

Make the cookies: Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well. Slowly add the dry ingredients. Fold in the white chocolate and cranberries.

Chill dough for 1 hour. Place rounded tablespoons on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake at 180C/350F for 10 to 12 minutes, until light golden on the edges. Let cookies cool completely.

Make frosting: Beat together cream cheese and melted white chocolate. Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth. If it’s not thick enough, you can add additional powdered sugar.

Spread the frosting on the cool cookies. Sprinkle with the chopped cranberries and drizzle with the melted white chocolate.

Cranberry Almond Biscotti

biscottiThese were the first biscotti I learned to make. Since then I’ve adapted this recipe to make several other flavors, so feel free to experiment! For bakers in Japan, these cookies are terrific because they use oil instead of butter.

Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
6 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 egg
1 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup almonds, chopped (50g or 1.75 oz)
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped

Instructions

Mix olive oil, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract in a bowl. Add egg and mix well. Add flour, salt, and baking powder and mix until combined. Batter may be thick. Add almonds and cranberries and mix until evenly spread through the batter.

Spread batter onto a baking sheet in a log shape, about 30cm / 12 in long and 12cm / 5 in wide. Bake at 150 C (300 F) for 35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. Slice diagonally with a sharp knife. You can make them as thin or thick as you like, but if they are too thin they tend to break in half, so be careful.

Lay the sliced biscotti on their sides, and bake again at 130 C (275 F) for 10 to 15 minutes until dry.

Traditionally, biscotti are eaten dipped into tea, coffee, cocoa, or wine, but they are also delicious on their own.

As I mentioned, you can make almost unlimited flavors of biscotti. Here are some of the combinations I have tried myself (but I have lots of other ideas, so be creative!). I think it’s best to have some kind of nut for the crunch, and I usually use dried fruit. You can add a citrus flavor with fresh orange or lemon zest. Some people also put chocolate in the batter or dip the bottom of the finished biscotti in chocolate, but I haven’t tried it.

– almond
– almond/cranberry
– almond/orange
– blueberry/lemon/lavender/walnut
– pistachio/cranberry
– banana walnut