Here it is, our twist on the popular Cranberry Bliss Bar many of you savor at least a couple of each holiday season. We’ve taken the white-flour, white-sugar recipe and created a cookie version with whole wheat flour, less sugar (they’re still plenty sweet!), pecans and orange zest. They’re beautiful, surprisingly fast to mix up and will certainly be requested again by friends and family once you bring your first plateful to a holiday gathering.

White Chocolate, Cranberry, Pecan Cookies

11 - November-001

Adapted from Cranberry Bliss Cookies recipe at the Gimme Some Oven food blog.

Yield: 30 cookies

Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 1-½ cups finely ground whole wheat flour
  • 1-½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon RealSalt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup Xagave syrup
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (preferably organic)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest, optional

For the frosting

  • 1/2 cup white chocolate baking bar or chips, melted in a double-boiler
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar or 1/3 cup Xagave syrup

For the topping

  • 1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips, melted in the microwave or double-boiler

Directions

For the cookies

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt and then set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a Bosch mixer, beat the butter, Xagave and brown sugar on speed 2 until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds. Add the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time, beating mixture after each egg to incorporate them well.
  3. Switch to speed 1 and slowly pour in the dry ingredients. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add the white chocolate chips, cranberries, chopped pecans and orange zest. Mix just until combined. Be careful not to over mix your batter.
  5. Cover dough and chill for an hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  7. Scoop cookie dough (in 3-tablespoon balls) onto cookie sheets covered with parchment paper or a Silpat nonstick baking mat, and space about 2-1/2 inches apart. Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand or the back of a spoon.
  8. Bake for 9-12 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown around the edges.
  9. Let baked cookies sit about 10 minutes on baking sheet and then scoop off onto cooling racks.
  10. Let cookies cool to room temperature before adding frosting and toppings.

Cookies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days or in the freezer up to 3 months.

For the frosting

  1. Beat together the cream cheese and melted white chocolate until combined (an electric hand mixer on medium speed works well for this). Mix in vanilla extract. With mixer at low speed, add powdered sugar (or Xagave) until your desired consistency is reached.
  2. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and beat again for 1 minute on medium speed until the frosting is smooth.
  3. Spread frosting over cooled cookies and while frosting is still fresh (and sticky) sprinkle the cookies with chopped dried cranberries.
  4. Drizzle melted white chocolate chips over cookies. Squeezing the white chocolate through a plastic bag with a small hole cut through a bottom corner works well for an even drizzle.