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Monday, December 5, 2011

Sparkling Cranberry Cookies

I'm posting a little early this week as I am off to Anchorage for work this week. I have a busy schedule, but I am hoping to sneak in a couple of hours late Thursday afternoon for a little shopping. I purposely scheduled all my meetings downtown and didn't rent a car so I would be forced to walk. I prefer trips without a car actually, I think you see a lot more. When you have a rental car you increase your range and it feels like you spend all your time driving, at least I do anyway. I always want to try and see it all! In addition walking is really good for you, especially during the season of the holiday cookie. I know, more cookies....but these ones are actually somewhat good for you. Ok, maybe good for you is pushing it. I have really been enjoying the flavor of whole-wheat flour lately. I have gradually been incorporating it into more and more foods that I make and now I almost find baked goods made with all-purpose flour a little bit bland. I love the extra flavor the whole wheat flour adds. So, these cookies do come with a bit of a warning...if you are used to some of my usual recipes these might taste a little bit "healthy" to you. The process for making them is very similar to making scones which is probably why I like them so much. I actually thought about calling them itty bitty scone cookies, but that is just a little too cute.
These little cookies would be great packaged up as a holiday gift or hostess treat, a great little bite with a morning cup of coffee. Yes, you can have cookies for breakfast.
I simplified this recipe from the original making the entire dough in the food processor, I just caution you not to go crazy and over mix the dough. This method really cuts down on the number of dishes you use, but if you prefer you can remove the flour and cranberry mixture from the food processor and make the rest of the dough by hand to avoid over mixing. 

Sparkling Cranberry Cookies
adapted from King Arthur Flour

1 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 cup dried cranberries (if you prefer to make recipe without nuts increase to 1 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup Pecans, optional (increase cranberries if not using)
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 24 squares
3 tablespoons milk
scant 1/2 cup coarse white sparkling sugar, or Raw Sugar

Place the flour and dried cranberries in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the cranberries are coarsely shredded. This took about 4 minutes in my very cheap food processor with a dull blade.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

Add sugar, baking powder, and salt to the bowl of the food processor. Give a couple of quick pulses to mix the ingredients. Add the vanilla, pecans, and butter, pulsing 4-6 times until well incorporated, but some pea-sized chunks still remain. Add the milk, one tablespoon at a time while pulsing once or twice during each addition; the dough will become cohesive. Do not over process the mixture as you still want some of the butter pieces to still be visible in the dough.

Using a teaspoon cookie scoop (or a spoon), scoop the dough onto your cookie sheet, leave enough room to flatten, but they can be fairly close together as they do not spread much. I was able to get 18 cookies on each sheet.  Place the coarse white sugar in a small bowl. Using the bottom of a small glass, flatten each cookie to about 1/4 inch thick. You may notice your cookies sticking to the bottom of the glass, if they do dip the glass with the cookie still attached into the small bowl of coarse white sugar, then carefully peel the cookie off the bottom and place on the cookie sheet. If they don't stick to the glass, just remove the cookie from the baking sheet after flattening and dip the top and sides in sugar, try not to coat the bottom as the sugar will burn on the cookie sheet and blacken the bottoms of the cookies. Place the cookie sugar side up on the baking sheet. You want to make sure and get the cookies really coated as there is very little sugar in this recipe, the coarse sugar adds both sweetness and texture to the cookie.

Bake the cookies for 14 to 15 minutes, until they’re just barely beginning to brown around the very edge. Remove them from the oven, and cool on the pan.
Yield: about 3 dozen cookies. I ended up with 35.


  1. Oh, how pretty and festive! The cookie look delicious and I am loving the styling with the twine and the pretty tag :)

  2. Hey when it comes to cookies this is as "healthy" as I like! Look forward to trying them!

  3. These cookies look amazing! gloria

  4. These cookies look and sound amazing. I would love it if you came to link to my holiday recipe swap blog hop. It is my first ever! Love these recipes.
    -Erin Kennedy

  5. These are beautiful and would be an awesome addition to any holiday tray. I was excited to read you were going to Anchorage. We use to live there in the early '80's...hubby was stationed at Elmendorf. Have been back to visit a few times. Enjoy your time there.


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