Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fresh Cranberry Orange Cookies

I love cranberries. Of course that should be pretty obvious by now to anyone who reads my blog. The cranberry orange quick bread I made the other day is one of my standards that I make several times during the cold months. The white chocolate cranberry orange cookies are a favorite amongst my friends and frequently requested. And of course I tend to make all sorts of cranberry recipes when I see them, like the cranberry maple oatmeal cookies, and the pumpkin cranberry upside down cake and this, this, this, and this.

Yup. Cranberries are near the top of my list for favorite baking ingredient. Most of my friends love the white chocolate cranberry orange cookies that I linked to above, but I don't like white chocolate so they don't do much for me. When I found this recipe on epicurious I knew I wanted to make it immediately, but I had to make a couple of changes. The original (which I will try soon) called for light brown sugar which I didn't have, for pistachios which I didn't have, and for minced fresh ginger which I also didn't have. I substituted white sugar for the brown, doubled the walnuts in place of the pistachios and used about a 1/2 cup of crystallized ginger and it worked out fine. In fact, when I make them again with light brown sugar, I will probably keep the crystallized ginger in there because I like how the flavor plays against the tart cranberry.

For cranberry lovers these cookies are awesome. They have a big punch of tart cranberry flavor with the zing of ginger and the sweet of oranges. The cookies would have had a better texture with brown sugar, but white works in a pinch. I would have loved to have seen the bright green pistachios contrasting with the red of the cranberries, but alas it wasn't meant to be this time. I guess that's what next time is for though.

Here is the original recipe on epicurious. And below is what I made:

2 cups dried sweetened cranberries
1/3 cup orange juice
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1/2 cup crystallized ginger
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment or silpats. Combine dried sweetened cranberries and orange juice in small bowl. Let stand until dried cranberries soften slightly, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes or

Whisk all purpose flour, ground cinnamon, baking powder, ground ginger, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl until just blended.

Using electric mixer, beat room-temperature butter and sugar in large bowl until smooth. Add 1 egg, vanilla extract, and grated orange peel and beat until well blended, about 2 minutes. Beat in flour-spice mixture. Stir in chopped walnuts, chopped ginger, coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries, and dried cranberries with any juices that have accumulated.

Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets, spacing tablespoonfuls about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake cookies, 1 baking sheet at a time, until golden and almost firm to touch in center, about 16-18 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets 5 minutes. Transfer to racks; cool cookies completely. (Cookies can be made 2 days ahead. Store cookies in airtight container at room temperature.)


Ben said...

Should've gotten in earlier so I could enjoy one.:(

burkie said...

they were yummy :)

Beth said...

Hi, I just made these! I love the combination of orange and cranberry.