Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pistachio, Cranberry, and White Chocolate Cookies

I baked! :D I went to a friend's cookie swap before Christmas and baked cookies for probably the fifth time in my life.  This recipe is perfect for a novice baker because there aren't a lot of ingredients and there is a little room to change it if you want.  For example, I used cranberries instead of cherries and added a little extra white chocolate.  I prefer the tartness of the cranberries over sweet cherries. I used white chocolate chips because it was faster than chopping a baking bar. The dough can stay in the freezer for a week or so if you want to make another batch later.  These cookies are small and crunchy, it's hard to eat just one.  I think they're perfect for Christmas because of the red and green from the cranberries and pistachios.

Here are all the ingredients you need!

The original recipe wanted me to let the cookies sit on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing them.  With my first batch, I felt like it made them stick to the sheet and break.  So I removed them from the sheet with a spatula after about only 1 minute.

Pistachio, Cranberry, and White Chocolate Cookies
adapted from
Makes about 4 dozen

2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp fine salt
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup coarsely chopped dried cranberries
1/2 cup toasted and coarsely chopped shelled, unsalted pistachios
1/2 cup coarsely white chocolate chips

1) Set up your stand mixer with the paddle attachment.  Combine the butter and sugar in the mixing bowl and mix it on medium for about 2 minutes, until the butter starts looking fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl before adding the next ingredients.
2) Add the egg yolk, vanilla, and salt and beat until smooth, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Add the flour and mix on low until it looks like cookie dough. This takes a few minutes.  It helps to add the flour evenly around the bowl instead of dumping it in one big clump.
3) Carefully add cranberries, pistachios, and white chocolate and mix until well incorporated. 
4) Place 2 (15-inch) pieces of plastic wrap on a clean work surface and place half the dough along the center of each piece. Shape the dough into 2 logs measuring about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 11 inches long. Roll the logs up in the plastic and secure tightly. Place in the freezer for 2 hours or up to several weeks.
5) Remove the dough from the freezer and let it sit out while you heat your oven to 350 and arrange the rack in the middle.
6) Cut the dough into 1/4-inch-thick slices and arrange them at least 1 inch apart on a baking sheet. Return any remaining dough to the freezer in between batches.
7) Bake until the cookie edges are light golden brown, about 17 minutes. 

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