Thursday, June 4, 2015

Blissful Cranberry Cookies





Lately my appetite has been stuck on cookies. For some reason, when a sweet craving strikes, I want homemade cookies dunked in ice cold milk.




Perhaps it's the time of year. While cookies take center stage at Christmas, I think summer is cookie season. These sweet morsels are easier to make than pies and handier to transport than ice cream. Need dessert for a picnic? Want a treat to munch on at the lake or beach? Cookies are the answer!

Once you know a basic cookie dough recipe, what kind it becomes is completely up to your imagination…or what’s in the pantry at the time. For example, these Blissful Cranberry Cookies were inspired by the Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars. To my basic cookie dough, I added dried cranberries, white and semi-sweet chocolate chips, and walnuts. However, you could add any dried fruit, chips, nuts and flavorings to make your own signature cookie.

Blissful Cranberry Cookies
Makes about 5 dozen

Basic cookie dough:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

Additions:
1 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli.)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

To make the basic dough: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter, brown sugar, sugar and vanilla. Beat until creamy. Add the eggs and beat until well combined. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple of times.

Add the dried cranberries, chips and nuts, and mix for just a moment to combine.

Drop rounded teaspoons of the cookie dough onto the baking sheets. Place in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, turning the cookie sheets and swapping shelves halfway through baking. Take the cookies out of the oven and allow them to sit on the baking sheets for two minutes. Then place them on racks to cool. Store in an air-tight container.

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