With crisp, caramelized edges and rich, chewy centers, these White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies are irresistible!
The BEST White Chocolate Cranberry Cookie Recipe
These White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies are made with my favorite cookie base and filled with white chocolate chips, tangy dried cranberries, crunchy walnuts, and fragrant with a touch of orange zest. They’ve got it all: chewy, gooey, crispy, crunchy. And the flavor combination is so festive and so good!
Easy Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies
The base for this cookie is from Alice Medrich, who has won more best cookbook-of-the-year awards and best in the dessert and baking category than any other author. It bakes up into beautiful and delicious cookies with chewy centers and crispy caramelized edges – the best combination you can find in a cookie. The dough is super easy to work with – foolproof, one bowl, and no mixer required.
Ingredients in White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
- Dried cranberries – gives a bright and festive flavor while keeping the proper texture of the cookie. Fresh cranberries would add too much moisture that could make the cookie soggy.
- White chocolate chips or chunks – the perfect sweet contrast to the tangy cranberries.
- Orange zest – just a hint of orange for a bright, citrusy tone.
- Melted butter – makes the cookies chewy and easy to mix by hand. Heat the butter until it’s almost all melted, then stir it a bit and the warmth will melt the rest of the butter. This saves on cooling time.
- Brown and white sugar
- Eggs – for binding and moisture.
- Vanilla – for depth of flavor
- Salt – a necessity in sweet recipes. Without it, they would taste flat.
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Walnuts – optional. Adds crunch, texture, and flavor. You can substitute pecans or pistachios.
Do I have to let the dough rest?
You don’t have to let the dough rest. You can run into the kitchen right now and have these cookies fresh and hot out of the oven in less than 30 minutes. That being said, even an hour of resting time just makes a better cookie. You will still have a delicious cookie if you don’t have time to rest the dough. But you will have a better cookie if you let it rest. Even for an hour.
Alice Medrich recommends, if possible, letting the cookie dough rest for and hour or two, or better still, overnight. I haven’t usually planned far enough in advance to let the cookie dough rest overnight, so I usually go with the one hour rest. Two if I’m busy at home and have the time.
I’ve done several side by side tests of cookie dough that has rested one hour, one day, and two days so I’ve seen the improvement resting can make. Even the creator of the famous Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe, Mrs. Wakefield, recommended letting the dough rest for a day or two in the fridge. Biochemist and cookbook author Shirley Corriher, confirmed that the extra time allows “dough and other ingredients to fully soak up the liquid—in this case, the eggs—in order to get a drier and firmer dough, which bakes to a better consistency.”
How to make White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted butter with the sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and zest. Whisk in the eggs until thoroughly combined.
Add the flour and baking soda, stirring just until the dry ingredients are incorporated.
Stir in the white chocolate chips, cranberries, and walnuts.
If possible, let the dough rest in the refrigerator for one or two hours, or even better, overnight.
Roll dough into 1.5oz (43g) balls and place 3 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake until golden brown on the edges and no longer wet on top, about 8-10 minutes. Be careful not to overbake.
How to make Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies in advance
The dough or dough balls can be made in advance and refrigerated for up to 4 days. Bring the dough/dough balls to room temperature (70° F) before baking.
Unbaked dough balls can be frozen for up to 2 months. Bring the dough balls to room temperature (70° F) before baking.
Baked cookies can be frozen. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in a plastic freezer bag for up to 2 months.
White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
- 2 sticks unsalted butter melted (8oz, 227g)
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar (5.25oz, 149g)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (5.25oz, 149g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest from 2 large oranges
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (10.125oz, 287g)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups white chocolate chunks or chips (12oz, 340g)
- 1 cup dried cranberries roughly chopped (4.2oz, 120g)
- Optional: 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (2oz, 57g)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted butter with the sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and zest.
- Whisk in the eggs until thoroughly combined.
- Add the flour and baking soda, stirring just until the dry ingredients are incorporated.
- Stir in the white chocolate chunks, cranberries, and walnuts.
- If possible, let the dough rest in the refrigerator for one or two hours, or even better, overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Position the racks to the lower and upper thirds of the oven.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator if rested. If cold and firm, allow it to soften a few minutes.
- Roll into 1.5oz (43g) balls and place 3 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake until golden brown on the edges and no longer wet on top, about 8-10 minutes. Be careful not to overbake.
- Rotate the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking.
- Remove from oven. Let cookies rest on pan one minute before transferring to a cooling rack. Cool thoroughly before storing.
- May be kept in an airtight container for several days.
- Makes about 33 cookies.
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