Holiday Baking: White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

Hello, my long lost food blog.  It’s been a while.  Here, have some cookies.

Our family has been busy.  And it’s not just the wonderful chaos that ensues once November hits.  We just moved to Houston from Amarillo, and have been spending the last 3 months living apart and driving all over the great state of Texas.  So I haven’t had the time or the energy to blog.  But now that I have a kitchen of my very own I have started baking and cooking again.  It feels good to be settled…even if I still have a bedroom full of boxes that I have absolutely no desire to unpack.

These white chocolate cranberry cookies were pretty good. I’d say maybe a touch too sweet for some people, but the tang of the cranberry and the right amount of salt balance it out well.  If you’re making cookie plates to give to neighbors and friends a few of these among some spicy gingersnaps and rich chocolate cookies would make for a great gift.

Thanks to Baking Bites for the recipe!  The only thing I changed was to add a little cinnamon.  I didn’t taste it as much as I would have liked, so maybe a full teaspoon of cinnamon would be better.

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 oz white chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup white chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg, followed by melted white chocolate and vanilla extract. Gradually incorporate the flour mixture, mixing until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.
  4. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2-inches between each cookie to allow for spread.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies turn lightly golden around the edges. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 3-4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Lemon Rosemary Madeleines

In honor of Bastille Day…or possibly just an excuse to use the madeleine pan that has been sitting in my cupboard for a few years now? Regardless, these French lemon madeleines are light and lovely.

This was one of those times in the kitchen where you begin to wonder, “Is this just not in the stars for me?”  First the butter exploded in the microwave, with great flair, I should add.  Loud popping clumps of butter going everywhere.  Then I was separating eggs and almost added the whites instead of the yolks to the bowl.  Then I spilled cake flour all over myself and the floor, something I really hate cleaning up for some reason.  Really?  It was just one thing after another.  A lesson in patience and being slow to anger?  Maybe so.

Madeleines are beautiful little treasures, but impossible to make without a madeleine pan.  I only have one small madeleine pan and I didn’t feel like waiting for it to cool, washing it out and re-greasing it before making another batch, so I used my remaining batter to make little lemon rosemary muffins.  Simply grease 24 mini muffin cups, fill them 3/4 full and bake for about 12 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the tops are just beginning to brown.  Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!  They don’t have the same cute little ruffled shell shape, but they are just as good.

Fresh and light lemon flavor with just a subtle rosemary flavor, these little cake-like cookies are wonderful.  I think they’d be perfect for a tea party, baby or bridal shower.

Lemon Rosemary Madeleines

Adapted from Martha Stewart


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 whole eggs + 2 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter two madeleine pans; set aside. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl; Mix in chopped rosemary and set aside.
  2. Put eggs, egg yolks, granulated sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest and juice in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and thickened, about 5 minutes. Mix in butter. Using a spatula, fold flour mixture into egg mixture. Let rest 30 minutes.
  3. Pour batter into buttered pans, filling the molds 3/4 full. Bake cookies, rotating pans halfway through, until edges are crisp and golden, 7 to 8 minutes. Let cookies cool slightly in pans on wire racks. Invert, and unmold. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.


Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Is there any better combination?  Maybe if I’d added caramel in some capacity…

Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 1 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coarsely ground pretzels
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar for rolling


  1. Beat butter and peanut butter until thoroughly combined.
  2. Add sugars and beat until light.
  3. Add egg and vanilla, and beat until fluffy.
  4. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until combined.
  5. Mix in pretzels and chocolate chips.
  6. Roll into balls (about the size of a golf ball) and roll in granulated sugar.  Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment and flatten slightly.
  7. Bake @ 350°F for 10 minutes.

Crispy Cinnamon Pecan Cookies

This recipe is from a Junior League of Austin cookbook that I borrowed from my mom’s house.  Thanks, mom : )

These cookies are called English Toffee Cookies in the cookbook, but I took the liberty of changing their name to be more descriptive.  They are a little like toffee with their salty sweetness, but not sticky or chewy like toffee.  These cookies are crispy and light.  They are sweet, but not too sweet.  The cinnamon is wonderful.  I think a little nutmeg would be nice as well.  They are quite tasty on top of vanilla or coffee ice cream, next to a cup of coffee or tea, or all alone.

So very easy.  Mix up the dough, roll it out in one big slab on a cookie sheet (use parchment or a silpat to avoid sticking) brush with egg white, sprinkle with pecans, bake, cut and enjoy!

Crispy Cinnamon Pecan Cookies

Courtesy of The Collection from the Junior League of Austin


  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup ground pecans


  1. Cream shortening and sugar.
  2. Add beaten egg yolk and vanilla.
  3. Sift dry ingredients together and blend into creamed mixture.
  4. Roll dough out onto a cookie sheet to 1/4 to 1/8 inch thickness.
  5. Coat with egg white then sprinkle with pecans.
  6. Bake at 300°F for 25-30 minutes.
  7. Let cool, then cut into squares or break into pieces.


Decorated Sugar Cookies

Some of you know the story behind why I made these.  These cookies didn’t end up making it to their intended destination.  On the bright side, I got to practice my cookie decorating skills.

Even though making these requires quite a bit of time, and even though my hands and nails have been dyed by black gel color, I really do love making them.

Fudgy Chocolate & Peanut Cookies

There was a time in my life that I would have turned my nose up at a cookie recipe that used a cake mix.  Times have changed.

Like many of my baked goods these days, this one was an attempt to use things I had on hand.  I had a cake mix, a jar of peanuts, and chocolate chips.  So, I made these cookies.  And they are not bad.

These cookies taste like a cake mix, and that’s OK with me.  I happen to like that flavor every now and then.  The mix I had already had some little chips in it, so add a few more chocolate chips if your mix does not.  I used half butter and half margarine since I had half sticks of both in the fridge.  These were crazy delicious while still warm and gooey in the middle.  They weren’t quite as good the next day for some reason.  Just pop one…or two…or five in the microwave for 5-10 seconds to warm them up, and enjoy with a cold glass of milk. Mmmmm…

Switch the chips for whatever you want.  Use different nuts.  Whatever. Enjoy!

Fudgy Chocolate & Peanut Cookies


  • 1 box chocolate cake mi
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups salted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips


  1. Beat butter or margarine until smooth.  Beat in cake mix, then oil, eggs and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Stir in peanuts, and chips.
  3. Bake cookies at 350°F for 9-12 minutes.

Trail Mix Cookies

Trail mix is one of my favorite snacks.  I am not active enough to really need the calories and nutritional value it provides, but it’s still not as bad as chowing down on a bag of potato chips, right?  Right…

Not only is trail mix delicious, but it’s an easy snack to take along with you, and we almost always have a bag (or a few bags) of it in our house.  I was planning to make cookies for a trip we took to Angel Fire this past weekend.  My original plan was oatmeal raisin, but then I thought I’d use the trail mix instead.  Pure genius.

The trail mix I buy for Ben can be found at Sam’s Club, but when I don’t feel like going to Sam’s just for a bag of the stuff I buy it at Wal Mart.  It is a perfect mix of peanuts, almonds, cashews, raisins and M&M’s.

I used a simple oatmeal raisin cookie base, but instead of the cup of raisins I measured out 1 1/2 cups of trail mix, chopped up the larger almonds and cashews and stirred it in to the dough.  I added a few dark chocolate M&M’s I had left over from Valentine’s Day just to be sure there was enough chocolate in there : )

The combination of peanuts, raisins, M&M’s, almonds and cashews was terrific.  The final product was hearty and delicious.  Enjoy!

Trail Mix Cookies


  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups oats
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups trail mix, larger nuts chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Beat butter and shortening until smooth, then beat in both sugars, then eggs until light.
  3. Add in vanilla.
  4. Stir in flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  5. Stir in oats and trail mix until well combined.
  6. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheets.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

There are no words.  Just salivation.

Baking Bites (link here) does a post called “Bites from Other Blogs” where she  introduces you to new food blogs and recipes.  This one caught my eye, and thanks to always buying more than I need I had a fresh box of OREOS in the pantry!  It was fate, my friends, fate.

The recipe came from and I will be forever thankful to both blogs for introducing me to this cookie!  Bless you, Jenny!  I am now subscribed to your blog : )

The only change I made was to use part of a bag of chocolate chips, some Heath bar bits, and some chopped semi-sweet chocolate to make the full 10 ounces.  I liked the combination of chips, chunks and bits of toffee.  It makes these cookies even better, in my opinion anyway.  These are so evil.  I recommend bringing somewhere to pawn them off on other people so that you are not tempted to eat them all yourself!

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 3/4 Cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla
  • 3 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 oz bag chocolate chips
  • 24 Oreo Cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.   In a stand or electric mixer cream butter and sugars until well combined.  Add in eggs and vanilla until well combined.
  2. In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt and baking soda.  Slowly add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips until just combined.
  3. Using a cookie scoop take one scoop of cookie dough and place on top of an Oreo Cookie.  Take another scoop of dough and place on bottom of Oreo Cookie.  Seal edges together by pressing and cupping in hand until Oreo Cookie is enclosed with dough.
  4. Place onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet and bake cookies 9-13 minutes or until cookies are baked to your liking.
  5. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

“Craisy” Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal, cranberry, coconut & rosemary cookies…but that is just too much to type as a blog post title.

I don’t like the “Craisy” title either, but that is how they’re described by Guy Fieri, the creator of these cookies.  “Craisy” because of the use of dried cranberries or “craisins”, and also “crazy” because of the use of rosemary.  I happen to love rosemary in desserts, these cookies are spectacular and quite good for the holidays.  But the idea of this savory herb in a sweet might put some people off.  Do not be frightened!  The rosemary is a welcome ingredient in these cookies.

This cookie recipe arrived in my inbox the other day as Day 12 of the “12 Days of Cookies” from the Food Network.  And instead of deleting it after deciding I had no interest in wasting precious time and energy in baking them (like I have with the other 11 recipes) I clicked on the title and was redirected to the recipe on  I had all the ingredients…even the fresh rosemary thanks to the robust rosemary plants in the backyard that have withstood not only the freezing temperatures, my lack of care for most plants in my yard, and the dog.  I took the butter and eggs out of the fridge with the intention of making them in the next couple of hours.  Eight hours later, once the baby gave me a good chunk of free time and the electrician had completed his work on our house I got around to making the dough, and 2 hours after that I got around to baking them.  I am so very glad I did.

I love oatmeal cookies of any type.  I love coconut in just about anything.  I love the tartness that cranberries add to baked goods.  And, as you know by now, I love rosemary.  It is therefore no surprise that I loved these cookies.  My only issue with them was temperature and baking time.  I baked my first couple batches at the recommended 350 for 10 minutes.  I hardly ever bake cookies the full time the first time around.  I check them a bit earlier to make sure they do not brown too quickly.  After 10 minutes the cookies were pretty dark, so I took them out.  The next batch I did for 8 minutes, and they had gooey centers, but dark bottoms.  So, I turned the oven down to 325 and baked the cookies for about 10 minutes.  This seemed to yield the best results.  Your oven might so something different, so you might need to mess around with the time a bit.  But even over baked, these cookies are tasty. (more…)

Oatmeal, Pecan, Coconut & Butterscotch Cookies

A bag of butterscotch chips in my cupboard greeted me (by falling out onto the counter) the other day and so I took this as a sign to make something with them.  I found a recipe for pecan and oatmeal cookies, and so I just added the coconut and butterscotch chips because I have this, well, it’s a problem.  I like to add too many extras to a cookie.  Sometimes I can keep it simple and show some restraint, but most of the time I have the urge to add more and more goodies.

These cookies are very sweet, so one was enough for me.  I could eat probably 3 oatmeal raisin cookies in one sitting, but one of these sweet little things is enough sweet for me.  You could easily leave out the butterscotch chips or replace them with chocolate chips.  You can play around with the add-ins, so make them how you like them.  Enjoy!