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!
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.
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.