White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

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These perfectly festive and wintry White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies are soft and chewy with slightly crispy edges. These cookies can be made in just one bowl with one wooden spoon; no mixer needed!

Try some of our other favorite cookies next: oatmeal cookies, toffee chocolate chip cookies, or Mexican wedding cookies.

Up-close image of a stack of White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies.

Since I’m a through-and-through foodie, the first thought I have when thinking about Christmas traditions is COOKIES. The boys and I make cookies almost every day in December; it’s one of our favorite things to do.

I also usually host some kind of cookie exchange and of course, practically eat my weight in cookies. All in the name of Christmas traditions, of course!

These cookies are a new winter favorite and have been added to our Christmas tradition baking list. They’re packed with white chocolate and chopped up dried cranberries, and they’re super soft, chewy, and gooey in the center with slightly crisp edges. They’re buttery, sugary, and ever-so-slightly flavored with vanilla and almond.

Process shots-- images of the White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies being made.

How to make White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

The picture collage above has numbers that correlate with the description below:

  1. Combine sugars. This recipe uses both light brown and white granulated
  2. Pour in butter. The most important thing to note here: make sure your butter has cooled 100% to room temperature. Hot melted butter will melt your sugars and cause greasy cookies.
  3. Stir together butter and sugars. And you can do it just using a wooden spoon! No fancy mixers needed here.
  4. Take your time mixing until the three ingredients are fully incorporated.
  5. Add in the egg, vanilla, and almond extract. Make sure the egg is at room temperature — it will combine better with the ingredients.
  6. Mix until smooth and combined.
  7. Add in the secret ingredient for super soft, chewy, and sweet cookies: agave nectar. Trust me, it’s a game changer!
  8. Mix until smooth. (Not pictured: Add in the baking agents, salt, and cornstarch (another secret ingredient for soft cookies.) Mix and then add in the flour. After that (pictured below), add in the white chocolate chips and chopped cranberries)

Process shot-- image of white chocolate and cranberries being added to these cookies.

  • Chill the dough. Since we melted the butter, the dough needs time to chill, allowing the butter to re-solidify. Otherwise, these cookies spread into a pancake! The chilling time also gives a chance for the flavors and textures to meld together and intensify.

Process shot-- image of the White Chocolate Cranberry Cookie dough on a sheet pan, ready to be baked.

Overhead image of White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies, ready to be eaten.

Instead of freezing baked cookies, try freezing the dough! Roll the cookie dough balls, place on a large sheet pan, and freeze until solid. Once solid, transfer the frozen cookie dough balls to an airtight container or bag and freeze up to 3 months. 

To bake: You can bake frozen cookie dough straight from the freezer; just add 1-3 minutes onto the cooking time (or thaw the dough in the fridge and bake according to directions).

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White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

5 from 1 vote
These perfectly festive and wintry White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies are soft and chewy with slightly crispy edges. These cookies can be made in just one bowl with one wooden spoon; no mixer needed!
Print Recipe

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

5 from 1 vote
These perfectly festive and wintry White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies are soft and chewy with slightly crispy edges. These cookies can be made in just one bowl with one wooden spoon; no mixer needed!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword white chocolate cranberry cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 16 large cookies
Calories 268kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons (113g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (102g) light brown sugar packed (Note 1)
  • 1/3 cup (96g) white sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract, optional
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar (Note 2)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt (reduce if using table salt OR if sensitive to salt)
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (224g) white all-purpose flour (Note 3)
  • 1 cup (150g) good quality white chocolate chips, separated
  • 1/2 cup (57g) chopped dried cranberries (crasins)

Instructions

  • BUTTER: Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Once melted, refrigerate for 5 minutes to bring it back to room temperature. It's important the butter isn't hot when you add in the sugars or it will melt the sugar and make the cookies greasy.
  • WET INGREDIENTS: Once butter is cooled to room temperature,add the light brown sugar and white sugar and stir until smooth. Mix in the egg, vanilla extract and optional almond extract. Stir until smooth. Add in the agave nectar and mix well.
  • DRY INGREDIENTS: Mix in the cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in the correctly measured (See Note 3) flour and mix until just combined. Don't over-mix.
  • COOKIE ADDITIONS: Gently stir in 3/4 cup white chocolate chips and the chopped cranberries. Stir until combined.
  • CHILL: Cover the bowl tightly and chill for 1 hour.
  • BAKE: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a pan with parchment paper or use a nonstick Silpat liner. If you have a light-colored sheet pan, use that instead of a dark one.
  • ROLL BALLS: Roll balls of dough into tall cylindrical balls (see picture above for shape and size). Place 6-8 cookie balls on a sheet, allowing plenty of room to spread. Dough balls should be about 1.7 ounces if you have a food scale; this dough should make 15-17 cookies. If the dough gets warm by being at room temperature or through the rolling process, return the balls to the fridge for 10-20 minutes or until firm.
  • BAKE: Bake for 8-12 minutes, erring on the side of under-baking--this keeps the cookies soft and chewy. The cookies will continue baking a bit after they've been removed from the oven, so take them out as soon as the edges start to lightly brown.
  • FINISHING: Remove from the oven and press the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips into the tops of the cookies (ensures even placement of chocolate and makes them look pretty). Allow cookies to cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
  • STORAGE: We like these cookies best on day 1 and 2 of being made. They do last up to 1 week, but begin to lose texture and flavor quality. To store: place in an airtight container and keep at room temperature. Wait until cookies are completely cool before adding to the container.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: If using dark brown sugar, these cookies spread a bit more, become flatter, and are a little less pretty.
Note 2: Agave nectar is the secret ingredient that makes these cookies amazing. It has become a widely popular ingredient and can be found in most grocery stores. You can generally find it with other sweeteners (like brown and white sugar) or in the natural foods section. You can use pure maple syrup in its place if necessary. 
Note 3: Spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level the top with the back of a table knife or weigh the flour on a food scale for an accurate measurement.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 268kcal

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Nutrition facts in white chocolate cranberry cookies

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