Spiced Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cranberries & Pecans

A close-up photo of freshly-baked cookies on a scratched baking sheet. Photo by Reghan Skerry.

One of my big projects for this year was thinning out the recipe collection. I went through all the magazines, and magazine clippings, and saved blog posts, got rid of everything that I didn’t need, and digitized and properly tagged everything I wanted to save. It was a big project, and took a few months to complete, but it paid off. All the recipes I kept are things that I either already love or know that I want to make, and sifting through them so carefully turned up a few gems that I probably would never have gotten around to making. 

Like these cookies.

I was originally going to tack this onto the end of my year-in-review post, as a bit of a ‘thanks for sticking around’ gift, but that probably won’t be ready until after Christmas, and I’d be a terrible, terrible person if I waited that long to share this recipe. This way, you still have time to make them for your own holiday celebrations. Or, you know, a random Tuesday, just because.

(This recipe appeared in the December 2018/January 2019 issue of Fine Cooking magazine. It was such a good magazine, and I’m kind of furious at how the new owners destroyed it. Seems like there’s a lot of that going around these days….)

Spiced Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cranberries & Pecans

  • Servings: about 60 small cookies

As much as I love chocolate chip cookies, they never feel quite right for this time of year. These are the perfect upgrade: the turbinado sugar adds just a hint of crunch, the winter spices balance out the sweetness, and the cranberries and pecans make everything better.


Very slightly adapted from the December 2018/January 2019 issue of Fine Cooking magazine.

  • 2 ¾ cups (354g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 16 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 3/4 packed cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (approx. 340g) semisweet chocolate chips (see note)
  • 1 cup (approx. 140g) dried cranberries
  • 1 cup (approx. 100g) toasted pecan halves, chopped

Directions

At Least One Day Before Baking:

Mix the sugars together in a large bowl. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. When the butter is about halfway melted, stir in the cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Continue stirring until the butter is completely melted, then remove from the heat.

Pour the melted butter over the sugars and whisk well, dissolving as much of the sugar as possible. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture, stirring until a soft dough forms. Fold in the cranberries, pecans, and chocolate chips, then transfer the dough to an air-tight container. Chill the dough until you’re ready to bake. (At least overnight, or up to three days.)

The Day Of:

Position a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat the oven to 400˚F/205˚C. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and line your cookie sheets with parchment.

Scoop the dough into roughly golf ball sized portions. (The dough will be very stiff to start. If it starts to get soft enough to stick to your hands while you’re working, return it to the fridge for a few minutes.) Place the balls about two inches apart on the first cookie sheet, and prepare the next batch while the first is baking.

Bake the cookies for about 8 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. The cookies will be slightly golden around the edges. Let rest on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days (though I suspect they won’t last that long).

Notes:

Do not skip the overnight chill. The dough is very soft—chilling it prevents the cookies from spreading too much on the pan.

The original recipe called for bittersweet chocolate, and I’m sure that’d be amazing. I had standard semisweet chocolate chips on hand, so that’s what I used. Even though the 300g bag is slightly less than two cups, it was enough. (Also, while I tend to weigh flour when baking, I just used the volume measurements for the cranberries and pecans since precision doesn’t matter as much there.)


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