I’ve been tapping my foot waiting for the Starbucks down the street to get a load of cranberry bliss bars, but each time I’ve checked they’ve said to hang tight (or something to that effect). I’ll have to stop by again tomorrow (maybe they got some while I was in Las Vegas?) but in the meantime, I’ve come up with a cookie version of the bliss bar.
For Blissful Cranberry Cookies, I started with a really good white chocolate macadamia cookie, but cut out the macadamias, adjusted the salt, then added some cranberries, ginger and pecans. The end result was a really flavorful cookie with an amazing texture due mainly to the vegetable shortening. As for flavor, there’s not really a need for 100% butter because there’s so much going on in the cookie – ground ginger, crystallized ginger, vanilla, cranberries, white chocolate. I definitely recommend shortening for this one.
If you are not a ginger fan or can’t find the crystallized type, these cookies are actually very good without it. Just for fun, I made a second version where I cut out the ginger and used lightly salted roasted pistachios instead of pecans. Those were excellent too.
So here’s my easy one bowl version of the recipe. The dough puffs up in the oven, then deflates upon cooling so you get a crispy edged cookie with lots of wrinkles and folds. They taste best when completely cool.
- 4 oz unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup regular vegetable shortening (Crisco)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3/4 scant teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour (7.8 oz)
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries, slightly chopped
- 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
- 1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger (use more if you like)
- 9 oz white chocolate, chopped into very small chunks
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a couple of cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Beat butter, shortening and both sugars with an electric mixer until creamy. Add egg and vanilla and beat for about 30 seconds. Scrape sides of bowl and beat in salt and baking soda. If using, beat in ginger. Scrape sides of bowl again. Add flour and stir until it is almost mixed in, then stir in cranberries, pecans, white chocolate.
- Drop dough about 3 inches apart (these spread quite a bit) by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Bake for 12-14 minute or until edges are golden brown. Cool on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks.
- Makes about 30 cookies
- Variation: Cut out the ginger and crystallized ginger and change the pecans to pistachios.