The first time I caught a glimpse of a recipe like this one was in a magazine a couple of years ago. At least, it was the first time that this flavor combination made an impression on me. At that time, Plugra, the higher-fat European style butter, was really becoming a trend in baking and I was slightly more inclined to try recipes that specifically called for it to see if there was a significant difference between it and regular butter. A few batches of cookies later and I wasn't completely sold on the butter, but I was sold on the cookie recipe. That first recipe only had orange and cranberry set into a light and buttery cookie and, compared to the usual holiday array of nut and spice-laden cookies, it was a revelation: bright, buttery and sweet. Over time, I lost track of that original recipe, switched to ordinarily butter (although it is fine to use one like Plugra, if you like) and added some dark chocolate chips to the cookies so that there would be something in them to satisfy every cookie-lover.
The citrus in these adds a refreshing twist to the cookies. They have slightly crisp edges and a slightly chewy center, the ideal balance that you want in a good homemade cookie. Feel free to go with all cranberries or all chocolate chips instead of the combination, or try white chocolate chips for a sort of creamsicle taste.
Cranberry, Orange & Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1 large egg
zest of one orange (about 2-3 tsp)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar, beating with an electric mixer until light. Beat in egg and orange zest. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add in the flour mixture, stirring only until just combined. Stir in the cranberries and chocolate chips.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls (about 1 1/4-inch balls) onto prepared cookie sheets and bake for 9-12 minutes, until edges are very lightly browned. Cool for 3-4 minutes on baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 4 dozen.