27 December 2012

Recipe: chocolate cranberry cookies

Christmas is already over! Wow, those days zoomed by, didn't they? Gone before I knew it. The days before Christmas were hectic and stressful, so I very much looked forward to the days off, even though the stress was partially to blame on something not work-related! You see, we had a special announcement to make this Christmas.

Who are engaged and freezing on a seaside cliff? These two!

We are getting married!
What does that have to do with cookies, you're probably wondering. Well, if I get stressed, I often find myself in the kitchen to bake cookies. As a form of stress relief, you see. Delicious, delicious stress relief. And seeing as we got engaged on the 15th of December but picked Christmas as the date to tell our families the big news, I got quite stressed in those 10 days of waiting! So I baked Christmas-appropriate cookies to go with the news!

I wanted to write 'We are getting married!' on the cookies in melted chocolate, but the melted chocolate was too thick for the nozzle on my squirt bottles (booh! I'm pretty sure I ruined one by clogging the nozzle with white chocolate!), so as a back-up plan, I covered them in the white chocolate and drizzled dark chocolate all over them. They were a big hit! And so was the news!

These relatively simple cookies are based on a recipe from the wonderful blog I Am Baker. In stead of adding white chocolate chunks to the dough, though, I added dried cranberries. In hindsight, I should have given them a chop, because the cranberries were rather large and impossible to cut through with a cookie cutter, making for some rather uneven and wonky cookies here and there, and I ended up with a lot of cookie dough crumbs and dough-covered cranberries on my workbench. Which is how I found out that the dough itself is absolutely delicious. Really, be careful you don't eat the whole batch raw because the chocolatey flavour from the cocoa powder and the somewhat acidic pop from the cranberries will make you go back for more!

But trust me when I say this: They're even better when actually baked.

Chocolate cranberry cookies

adapted from I am Baker
Makes a hell of a lot of cookies. I stopped at 60.

-1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 sticks room temperature butter
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries (chopped)
- 150 gr. white chocolate (2 bars)
- 75 gr. dark chocolate (1 bar)

Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
Stir in the egg and the vanilla extract.
Stir in the flour in small quantities at a time, until fully incorporated.
Stir in the salt.
Stir in the cocoa. Be careful, it'll floosh up if you stir too roughly and coat EVERYTHING in cocoa powder. I speak from experience.
Stir in the cranberries until mixed throughout the dough.

Cover the dough in cling wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to firm up before you roll it out.
Pre-heat your oven to 175 C. Roll out your dough (it is quite sticky, so place it between two sheets of waxed paper to roll out) until it is about 1 cm. thick. Cut out your cookies using a cutter. Mine is scalloped and has a 5 cm. diameter.
Place your cookies on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for approximately 10-12 minutes. The original recipe says 8-11, but this depends heavily on your oven. My oven doesn't actually run as hot as it should, so I placed them in there for the full 12 minutes.

Once they are done, fish them off the sheet and place on a cooling rack to cool off completely before decorating them.

When it's time to decorate your cookies, melt your chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl or mug in short intervals, stirring in between each nuke until the chocolate is fully melted. Cover your cookies with chocolate, and allow the chocolate to dry at least half-way until you decide you can't control yourself. Only then can you eat one. Or two. Or five. I won't judge, I've eaten at least 20 on my own.


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