Posts Tagged 'gifts'

Cookie Exchange: Fresh Cranberry, White Chocolate and Sea Salt Shortbread

This is the first in a series of posts called Cookie Exchange. My family (aka my mom and I) make traditional Huisinga Christmas cookies every year. Dozens and hundreds of cookies. After participating in the classic American cookie exchange with our extended family and friends, our family usually has enough frozen cookies to last us ’til kingdom come. (That is, unless kingdom comes in March, in which case, we would still have a few honey cookies left.)

I thought it would be neat to share the cookies we make every year and maybe inspire some traditions in your house. It would also be sweet if you all would pipe up on your favorite Christmas cookies in the comments. I’d love to try something new! Sound good? Good.

Now, on to the cookies. This is actually my variation on the recipe my mom has made for years. Typically, she uses dried cranberries, but I don’t particularly like that they have added sugar in them. Plus, we had fresh cranberries in the house, and how often does that happen? In addition to the fresh cranberries, I also included a sprinkling of sea salt on the top, which I realize is a bit foodie-ish of me, but let me tell you–it was a great addition. I used unsalted butter in the shortbread, so I chucked some regular salt in the dough as well.

The white chocolate offsets the tartness of the cranberries so, so beautifully. The cranberrries weren’t even as tart as I thought they might be; I’m thinking of dialing back the sugar a bit next time, and perhaps the butter, as the moisture in the fresh cranberries made for a very soft shortbread. Girl wants a bit moreĀ crunch sometimes.

But of course, they look perfectly festive. Crunch or no crunch, I’m in a holiday mood.

Happy bakes,


Fresh Cranberry, White Chocolate and Sea Salt Shortbread

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

2 cups unsalted butter

1 cup white sugar

4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries

6 ounces white chocolate (chips or a chopped bar)

flaky sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Beat the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the table salt and flour, a cup at a time, and mix until well blended.

Give the cranberries a rough chop, or pulse about seven times in the food processor. Add the cranberries to the dough along with the white chocolate, and mix until well blended.

Using a cookie scoop or two spoons, scoop rounded tablespoons of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle each cookie with a touch of sea salt, then flatten slightlly with the bottom of a glass.

Bake for 11-14 minutes, according to your preference. Let them firm up on the sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. These freeze well!

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