These vibrant cranberry cookies will add a pop of color to your Christmas cookie platter! Made with fresh cranberries and enhanced with a hint of vanilla, they are crispy, golden brown and buttery — then topped with a coating of smooth chocolate and crunchy pecans.
You can personalize cranberry cookies with your favorite baking chip flavors — try white or dark chocolate, or add cherry, raspberry, or your favorite flavor extract and a bit of food coloring to melted vanilla chips for a pretty pink coating!
Adding the fresh cranberries to the batter
You might also drizzle a little dark chocolate onto your white chocolate-coated cookies and vice versa. These are fantastic when dipped in pecans, but you could also use the nut of your choice, red sprinkles, dried cranberries, or miniature baking chips.
These sweet treats are light pink in color, but you can add a little more food coloring to increase the color intensity if you wish. If you want a more buttery flavor, use real butter instead of shortening.
Making the chocolate dip
Since decorating is half the fun of making cookies, go ahead and get creative! And if you like more chocolate, just dip your cookies a little further; we do recommend leaving a little piece of the cookies uncovered to make them easy to hold while eating.
While the flavor of fresh cranberries is delicious, if you are pressed for time or making these out of season, then frozen cranberries will do just fine.
These cookies are perfect for entertaining any time of year, because they can be made well ahead of time and frozen up to 3 months in a well-sealed bag. These are also ideal for gifting, and would look really striking inside a holiday tin or glass jar.
Dipping the cranberry cookies in the warm chocolate
With their red color, these cookies would also make a great Valentine’s Day gift, and can be enjoyed all winter long. When served with a hot cup of tea, coffee or cocoa, these are superb cookies for dipping — and for savoring with family and friends.
Sprinkling on just a few chopped pecans
Cranberry cookies dipped in chocolate & pecans
Serves 3 dozen cookies
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 drop red food coloring
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
- Using a hand or stand mixer, place shortening and sugar in the mixer, then beat until light and fluffy.
- Mix in egg, vanilla and red food coloring (color should be pink).
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt, then whisk together.
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and mix well.
- Prepare cranberries by rinsing them then patting dry between paper towels.
- Add cranberries to the mixing bowl and gently fold in.
- Prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Scoop dough in 1 teaspoon amounts, then drop onto baking sheets approximately 2” apart.
- Cover and freeze until firm.*
- Remove and bake at 350F for 15 minutes or until lightly brown.
- Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
- To finish: Melt chocolate chips and shortening in a double boiler. Stir until mixture is smooth.
- Dip each cooled cookie halfway into the chocolate.
- Sprinkle chocolate with chopped pecans (optional).
*Note: Cookie dough may be frozen in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.
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