Friday, December 20, 2013

Cranberry Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I think of Christmas, I think of cookies...gingerbread, decorated sugar, ones to serve Santa Claus on Christmas Eve...'Tis the season for cookies! (Jon's kindergarten class just had their Christmas party, and you know what there was plenty of???)

This recipe is a fun, simple "holiday dress-up" for my favorite cookie of all-time. Warm, always-comforting chocolate chips are festively paired with red, tart cranberries and rich, crunchy pecans! Not only is this an easy dough to whip up, the recipe makes a lot of petite-sized cookies. They're perfect for swap/exchange parties this weekend, nibbling on with tea or hot cocoa, and (of course) sharing with the kids!



Start by combining the butter and sugars. Blend on medium-high speed until creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Stop the mixer, and make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula.


Then, add the vanilla and egg. Blend on medium-high speed for another 1-2 minutes, until thick and fluffy.

I love that these cookies are soft and cakey, perfect for holding all of the nuts, cranberries, and chocolate! These steps help to ensure you get that consistency just right!


Next, reduce the mixing speed to low, and slowly incorporate the flour, salt, and baking soda. Blend just until a soft dough comes together.


Remove the bowl from the mixer, and fold in the pecans, cranberries, and chocolate chips with a spatula.


Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 10-15 minutes. This helps to keep the cookies from spreading all over the pan and the edges of the cookies from getting too crisp.


Once the oven is ready at 375 degrees, scoop teaspoonfuls of cookie dough onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart from each other. (I used a handy cookie scoop for this!) Bake at 375 degrees for 7-8 minutes.


After removing the baking sheet from the oven, allow the cookies to cool on the pan for about 2 minutes. Finally, transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.


You can serve them immediately (while they're hot and gooey!), or you can cool them completely and transfer to an airtight container (I vote for eating them immediately). (Especially if you live with cookie ninjas...)


Each cookie has a slight crunch around the edges, but the center is soft and chewy. Sweet, melted chocolate is in every bite, with rich pecans sprinkled throughout and a nice surprise of tart cranberry here and there. (If you love chocolate covered cherries and similar snacks, this cookie is definitely for you!) Happy holiday baking, everyone!

Cranberry Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies (makes about 4 dozen small cookies)

Print Recipe
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
2/3 cup (10 2/3 tbsp) Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1/2 cup White Granulated Sugar
1/2 (packed) cup Light Brown Sugar
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1 large Egg
1/3 cup Chopped Pecans
1/3 cup Dried Cranberries
2/3 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugars. Blend on medium-high speed until creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Stop the mixer, and scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Then, add the vanilla and egg. Blend on medium-high speed for another 1-2 minutes, until thick and fluffy. Reduce the mixing speed to low, and slowly incorporate the flour mixture. Blend just until a soft dough comes together. Next, remove the bowl from the mixer, and fold in the pecans, cranberries, and chocolate chips with a spatula. Chill the dough for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Scoop teaspoonfuls of cookie dough onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart from each other. Bake at 375 degrees for 7-8 minutes. After removing the baking sheet from the oven, allow the cookies to cool on the pan for about 2 minutes. Finally, transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.
  5. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container! Enjoy!

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