These White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies have crisp edges, soft centers, and a secret ingredient that makes them taste like they came from a bakery.
Say hello to White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies. These beauties are soft, rich, chewy, and sweet. Basically everything we need to make it through the busiest month of the year. Who’s ready to make cookies?!
What makes these cookies the best?
- Easy – The dough comes together in minutes with a basic list of ingredients. Simply scoop and drop the dough onto baking sheets.
- No chill time – These cookies can be baked immediately, no need to chill the dough.
- Perfect texture – Crisp edges, soft centers, creamy white chocolate, and chewy dried cranberries.
- Delicious – An incredible flavor combo: dried cranberries, white chocolate, vanilla extract, and a touch of almond extract. I use the dough from my White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies as the base for this recipe.
If you’ve been around for a while you might have already guessed my secret ingredient: almond extract. This is one of my favorite ingredients for making homemade baked goods taste like they came from a bakery. We’re adding just a touch of almond extract, and it complements the flavor of vanilla extract, white chocolate, and dried cranberries perfectly.
- Use good quality white chocolate chips. Ghirardelli and Guittard are my favorites.
- Don’t over soften your butter. It should be softened, but still cool to the touch (definitely not melting in some spots). If you accidentally over-soften the butter by microwaving it or leaving it in a warm kitchen for too long, you can still assemble the cookie dough, just chill it for 1-2 hours before baking.
- Use a cookie scoop for evenly sized cookies. A 1-½ tablespoon scoop is my favorite. For this recipe, I use a heaping 1-½ tablespoon scoop
- Once you place your cookie dough balls on the baking sheet you can top them with a few extra white chocolate chips and dried cranberries. This makes for a prettier cookie.
- Do not overbake. These cookies should be removed from the oven when they still appear underdone. The edges should be set but the center should still look under baked. They should be delicate enough that you can NOT pick them up off the baking sheet straight out of the oven. As they cool on the baking sheet they will continue baking and they will firm up as they cool.
Can you freeze these cookies?
Yes! You can freeze the cookie dough balls (unbaked) or you can freeze baked cookies.
Freezing cookie dough: Place the portioned cookie dough balls in a single layer on a baking sheet or platter. Freeze until they are firm, then transfer the dough balls into zip top freezer storage bags (I often double bag them). Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before baking. Flatten the dough balls slightly before baking and add a minute or two to bake time if they’re coming straight from the fridge.
Freezing baked cookies: Place the baked and cooled cookies in zip top freezer storage bag (I often double bag them). Freeze for up to 3 months. Serve at room temperature, or warm slightly in the microwave to get the white chocolate a little melty.
More delicious desserts
White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to cool room temp
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar, make sure it is fresh and soft
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- ¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- ¾ cup white chocolate chips, plus more for topping, if desired
- ¾ cup dried sweetened cranberries, plus more for topping, if desired
- sea salt, for garnish, I like flaky Maldon salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, combine flour (see note), baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and both sugars for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. Add egg and extracts and beat until combined.
- Slowly add the flour mixture, beating until just combined. Add ¾ cup each white chocolate chips and dried cranberries and stir until well combined.
- Scoop 2 tablespoon portions of dough and place the dough balls a couple inches apart on the cookie sheets. If desired, top each ball of dough with a few additional white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts (this makes for a prettier cookie). For thinner cookies you can flatten the dough balls slightly (with the palm of your hand).
- Bake the cookies for 9-12 minutes, until the edges are beginning to turn golden brown and the center is still slightly underdone. Rotate the baking sheets halfway through cooking time, if necessary. If your dough balls are smaller or larger than 2 tablespoons, adjust bake time accordingly. Make sure not to overbake. The cookies should still be soft in the center when you remove them from the oven.**
- Place the baking sheets on wire racks and allow the cookies to cool completely.