Thursday, June 28, 2012

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

This weekend, the ladies on my dad’s side of the family are throwing an ‘O’Gara Women’s Weekend’ in Southern California.  Now, I’m not privy to their itinerary, but I can just imagine their weekend spent sipping mimosas in wide brimmed hats, telling family stories and laughing over happy memories.  If you’re reading from SoCal, don’t be surprised if you happen to see a caravan of hysterical and jubilant women marching across the beach searching for the perfect place in the sand.   That’s the better half of my family – you’d better watch out!  Outside of their whimsy, the O’Gara women are strong and confident, and incredible role models for us kids.  I’ve learned many a lesson on decorum, practicality and even cooking techniques from these impressive ladies.  I hope they’re having fun and I hope they enjoy these cookies I've sent.  

Today’s recipe is a perfect fit for a Women’s Weekend (despite the butter and sugar – but I swear, you can’t make these cookies without them).  These cookies are light and sweet, with pops of tartness from the cranberries and freshness from the orange.  I under-bake them just slightly so they’re chewy rather than crunchy.  They taste great with a glass of milk and better with Champagne. 

2 C. Flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 C. butter
1 C. sugar
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. orange zest
2 eggs
8 oz. white chocolate chips
8 oz. dried cranberries
3 oz. walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda & salt.  In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Add one egg at a time and beat until well incorporated.  Add the vanilla and orange zest.  Mix again.  Gradually, add the dry ingredient mixture until dough forms.  Fold in white chocolate chips, dried cranberries and walnuts. 

Drop about 2 T. of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for approximately 6-8 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown.  They will be moist and chewy.  Cook longer if desired.  Allow the cookies to rest for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet and then move them to a cooling rack.

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