I'm not sure about Christmas music right after I throw my Jack O' Lanterns in the trash can, but it's happening anyway. Why, my leaves are still on the trees! And yet, the whole world is ready to jump in with tinsel, bows, and 30% off on decor. I suppose I must do something to officially throw my Santa hat into the ring as well, yes?
Maybe you've been searching for the right recipe to signal your entrance into the holiday of all holidays? Go no further. After being inspired by a recipe in one of my many Food & Wine cookbooks, I was struck when reading a recipe which suggested browning the butter before adding it to the dough, as noted by Lori Baker from Baker and Banker, for her ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies. But why couldn't I add something different to the dough as well? And maybe change up the look and taste of these to fit with the celebrations to come?
Pretty little baubles, are they not? Almost pretty enough to hang on your tree. There is little doubt, however, that they will last beyond stringing the lights. The nuttiness of the brown butter, the chewy and deep sweetness of the cranberries, and the 2 to 1 ratio of brown sugar to white is the perfect combination for giving as stocking stuffers and to reward yourself for being a mall shopper.
Because you prep one day and then cook the next, (they need to sit in the fridge overnight,) you can divide the chores between two days, leaving plenty of time for the courage you'll need to shop on Black Friday. Don't forget they freeze like a dream so Santa can be rewarded with the same cookie you plan on making TONIGHT. YUmmmmm...
RECIPE: Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Brown Butter Cookies
Makes 4 dozen 1 1/2" cookies / Click here for printable version.
2 sticks plus 2 T unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 C dried cranberries
1 C white chocolate chips
In a saucepan or frying pan, cook the butter over moderate heat until it is browned and nutty-smelling, about 5 minutes. It is okay to see it boil. Move the pan around a little so you can see when the brown bits begin to form. It’s about 1 second between not enough time, and too much! Transfer the butter to a small bowl and let it cool to room temperature for about 20 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the browned butter, and 2 T of soft butter with the granulated and light brown sugars at medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl often, and beating it about 7 minutes. It will feel like too long but it will make it super light and fluffy. Beat in the whole egg, egg yolk, milk and vanilla. At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix in the cranberries and white chocolate and blend. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Take the cookies out and let them sit for about 30 minutes on the counter so they’re not too hard. Preheat the oven to 375°. Scoop out a handful of the dough, making it round in your hand, and place on the sheet, 12 to a batch. (This will make about 48 cookies.) Bake until the cookies are just firm and golden brown on the bottom, about 7-8 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack. Serve the cookies warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container after the cookies have cooled, and they can be frozen for up to a month.
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Meet the Cook...
My name is Camine Pappas and I love to create beautiful and delicious food that anyone can make. My signature style is one of combining things in a way you might not expect as I work to find a hidden combination of colors, textures and flavors from the things that are in my pantry and/or easy to obtain.