Monday, October 20, 2008

Chewy Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies

I first made these cookies about 3 years ago. Since then they have become a part of the list of "go to" recipes when looking for something people are going to devour. If done right (1/4 cup of dough rolled into a ball and then pressed to a thickness of a 1/2") these cookies come out looking like something from a bakery. As a matter of fact, I took them to a picnic one time and no one was eating them. I asked my sister, "Did you try one of these? There awesome." My sister said she didn't want to eat something someone bought a bakery when there was so much homemade food to eat. I told her they were homemade. By me! By the end of the picnic they were gone. Happiness is taking home an empty container.

Jumbo Cranberry Oatmeal Jumbles
Recipe by Nicole Rees, co-author of Understanding Baking

Yields 16 to 18 big, chewy cookies

• 6 ounces (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• ½ cup packed light brown sugar
• 1 large egg, at room temperature
• 1 Tbsp light corn syrup
• 1 tpsn pure vanilla extract
• 6 ¾ ounces (1 ½ cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 ounce (1/4 cup) cake flour
• 1 tspn baking soda
• ½ tspn table salt
• ½ cup sweetened dried-cranberries
• ½ cup rolled oats (old-fashioned, not quick cooking)
• ½ cup pecan pieces (or coarsely chopped pecan halves), lightly toasted
• ½ cup sweetened coconut flakes, lightly toasted
• 3.5 ounces good-quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped

Position two racks near the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Line three baking sheets with parchment.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter and both sugars at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl. Add the egg, corn syrup, and vanilla; beat for 1 minute on medium speed. Mix in half the all-purpose flour on low speed until thoroughly combined, 30 seconds to a minute. Scrape the bowl. Briefly mix in the remaining half of the all-purpose flour. Sprinkle the cake flour, baking soda, and salt into the bowl and beat on low speed until well blended, 30 seconds to 1 minute. With a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula, stir in the cranberries, oats, pecans, coconut, and white chocolate.

Using your fingertips, shape 2-ounce pieces of dough (about a scant ¼ cup) into 2-inch diameter disks that are a ½ inch thick. Space them at least 2 inches aparton the parchment-lined sheets. Bake until the cookies’ edges and bottoms are golden and the centers feel dry on the surface but still soft inside, 15 to 16 minutes. When baking two pans at once, switch the position of the pans after 8 minutes for even browning. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for at least 1 minute before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. These cookies will keep for three or four days at room temperature or for several weeks in the freezer.

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