Holiday Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies (with Olive Oil)

As much as I love San Diego, it would be hard to move because I’d have to say goodbye to H.E.B. grocery store.  Trader Joe’s is great, but I’ve grown attached to H.E.B.. And I’m not the only one — The Scabs wrote a song about it. I read somewhere Bob Schneider lost his voice yelling “H.E.B.!”

Anyway, this cookie is from H.E.B.’s corporate website where you’ll find a good collection of easy to prepare recipes using both store brand plus featured sponsor ingredients. The sponsor here is Pompeian brand olive oil. I’ll be honest, I usually buy more robust Greek olive oil, but I cut it with a little vegetable oil using straight Greek olive oil.

H.E.B.’s recipes are designed to use few ingredients, so I’m guessing that’s why they left out vanilla extract. They also left out salt. If you don’t miss added salt, you can leave it out, but I like it and adjusted the recipe accordingly. I also used white whole wheat flour (Eagle Mills Ultragrain) and cut the recipe in half.

The cookies are very good, but different. I thought they would be cakey, but they’re kind of dense, stiff in the center and have extremely crispy (almost hard) edges. They don’t brown much, given the lack of baking soda, but they are chock full of chocolate chunks, cranberry and nuts so they still look pretty and taste great. Make sure you use really good chocolate and unless you hate them, add the nuts. I left out the coconut, but it probably would have been good too. The cookies are definitely not overly sweet.

Vegans — let me know if you figure out a good substitute for the eggs. I think it’s do-able, but it might be tricky since the eggs capture a lot of air.

Here’s my half batch version. Full H.E.B. version is here.

Cranberry Cookies

Holiday Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies (from H.E.B.)

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (Ultra Grain) or all purpose
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 scant teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup EACH dried cranberries, chocolate chips or chunks (good ones)
1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces
1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment.

Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside. Stir in the salt (it doesn’t always go through the sifter).

Beat olive oil and brown sugar using an electric mixer on high speed for 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla on medium speed (about 1 minute). Add the sifted flour 1/2 cup at a time and stir by hand until mixed. Stir in chocolate chips, cranberries and nuts.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes or until golden brown (at least around edges).

Makes about 2 ½ dozen cookies

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  1. says

    Doesn’t ground flax sub for eggs in recipes?
    Those look good. Can’t believe they are made with oil and olive oil at that.
    Glad you’re back. Missed your cookies!

  2. says

    Swoon…Bob Schneider is my favorite musician. 🙂 I’m a loyal lurker and thoroughly appreciate your addition of vegan baked goods on your site.

  3. says

    Katrina, flax might work. I’ll have to give it a try.

    S and V, thanks!

    Vegyogini, if you lived in Austin you could see him more often. He likes to play local, but has a pretty wide following….at least based on what I’ve found in my travels. Lots of people like him.

  4. says

    I’m a huge HEB fan, but have you noticed how much they differ by location. In my area there’s a “Ghetto-B” and a “Gucci-B” as we refer to them.

  5. Jennifer says

    I’m not familiar with HEB. We also don’t have trader joe’s in our immediate vacinity (middle of IL) but make a few trips a year when in Chicago or St. Louis.
    Oh, I hope you had a great time on your trip.

    Those cookies do look good. The cranberry-chocolate-coconut combo sounds interesting and delicious.

  6. Carole R. says

    Anna, do you think I could substitute melted butter for the olive oil?

    Glad you had a fun weekend. Although it was only a few days I missed your posts. Welcome home.

  7. says

    You can substitute 1 egg for 1 Tbsp ground flax seed + 3 Tbsp water. Mix and keep in the fridge for 1 hours. I don’t know how it would work in cookies, but I tried it in muffins and they turned out pretty well. Or use a banana instead. I love using olive oil in baking!

  8. says

    Hi Anna,
    Those cookies look amazing. I happen to like a cookie that is not overly sweet. The combination of the cranberries, nuts, and coconut sounds really good! I’m not known for being a very good baker, but I’d like to try these.

    By the way, I live in San Diego and I can promise you if you lived here, you would grow very attached to Trader Joes. I shop there at least once a week and it makes shopping so much more enjoyable for me. I like that it’s a small store, I know where everything is and I can be in and out in a matter of minutes with groceries for the week! An added bonus is that the employees are very friendly and the prices are very reasonable!

    I’m glad you and your family had a good trip to San Diego. I’m a Texan, “born and raised”, and I absolutely love it here.


  9. says

    Jess, the one near me was a Gucci-B for a while, but they built one in Westlake so I guess we’re just a regular-B.

    Jennifer, I don’t think H.E.B. will ever make it to Central IL. Then again, who knows???

    Hi Carole! I think butter would work, but you should try the olive oil. It’s interesting.

    Rita, I think the flax might work. Not sure if it would hold enough air, but I might give it a try next time I have some flax.

    LS, you don’t have to be a great baker to make these cookies. They’re simple. Don’t skip the sifting or beating for 3 minutes, though. Enjoy San Diego! You are lucky to live in such a beautiful city. Say hi to Dog Beach for us.

  10. says

    I’ve tried the ener-g egg replacer and it works pretty well, but the ground flax dissolved in hot water works the best for me — it has that same gummy quality that egg whites do, acting as a binder.

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