Cranberries and white chocolate is one my favorite flavor combinations. You’ll often see it around Christmas, but it’s great any time of year.
Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies add a touch of orange and cardamom to help balance the sweetness of the white chocolate.
What is white chocolate?
It seems that people either love or hate white chocolate, but most don’t really know what it is.
It’s made with the butter that remains after cocoa has been extracted from the cocoa pods. Swiss chocolatiers developed the product in the 1930s as a way to make use of what was until then a wasted byproduct of cocoa production.
The leftover cocoa butter was blended with milk solids and fat, sugar and lecithin, resulting in a sweet, ivory-colored confection that could be melted and formed in a similar way to chocolate.
What should I look for when I buy white chocolate?
The key to good white chocolate is the amount of cocoa butter it contains – it should have at least 20% cocoa butter.
Good white chocolate will melt smoothly, and should be an ivory color. White chocolate that is too white is likely made with more vegetable oil than cocoa butter (or has no cocoa butter at all!), and will probably be overwhelmingly sweet.
Can I substitute white chocolate for milk or dark chocolate?
If you are making cookies or bars with chocolate chips as an ingredient, you can usually safely substitute white chocolate chips for milk or semi-sweet chips (though the flavor will change).
For other purposes, like making a ganache for example, white chocolate will not perform in the same way. Here are some tips for cooking and baking with white chocolate.
Let’s make some cookies!
For these Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies, I like to chop the dried cranberries before adding them to the dough. I think the smaller flecks of cranberry look prettier, and it gives me more chances to taste cranberry with the chocolate. You can leave the dried berries whole if you prefer.
I like my cookies to be slightly crisp around the edges and a bit chewy in the middle, so bake them at 375 degrees F instead of 350.
My current oven heats unevenly, so in addition to using parchment paper on my cookie sheets to prevent sticking and burning, I also use two pans (one on top of the other with a layer of parchment in between) to insulate cookies from the hot spots.
More cranberry white chocolate recipes
Here are some more recipes from the Ketchup With That archives that feature cranberries and white chocolate:
These cookies are a nice change from everyday chocolate chip cookies. The cranberries and cardamom make them ideal for a holiday cookie collection, too.
- 2 cups / 500 ml all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon / 5 ml salt
- 1 teaspoon / 5 ml baking soda
- 1 teaspoon / 5 ml ground cardamom
- 1 cup / 250 ml butter, melted
- 3/4 cup / 187.5 ml white sugar
- 3/4 cup / 187.5 ml brown sugar
- 1 egg , large
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml orange juice concentrate
- 3 tablespoons / 45 ml sour cream
- 2 teaspoons / 10 ml grated orange rind (optional)
- 3/4 cup / 187.5 ml dried cranberries, roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup / 187.5 ml white chocolate chips
Stir together flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda and cardamom. Set aside.
Melt butter in microwave or on stove top. Place melted butter in a clean mixing bowl. Add white and brown sugar and stir to blend thoroughly. Beat in egg until mixture is smooth. Add orange juice concentrate, sour cream and orange rind (if using). Stir until smooth.
Add butter mixture, cranberries and white chocolate chips to flour and stir until blended and no streaks of flour remain.
Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F / 190 degrees C. Lightly grease or line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Using a spoon or scoop, make 1-1/2 inch / 3.75 cm balls with the cookie dough. Place one sheet with room for cookies to spread. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until cookies have turned a golden color and are lightly browned around the edges.
Remove baked cookies from oven and let them sit for a minute or two then remove to a cooling rack. The cookies will firm up as they cool.