These dark chocolate cranberry almond cookies are massively thick, buttery soft, and spiced with warm cinnamon. Loaded with cranberries, almonds, and pools of melted dark chocolate, texture lovers will delight in the decadence.
These dark chocolate cranberry almond cookies are truly one of our best cookie recipes. There’s really no comparison to dark chocolate and these cookies are bursting with it! When developing today’s recipe, we were inspired by these soft chocolate chip cookies. They’re always a hit and we know many of you feel the same way about their unbeatable texture.
Tell Me About these Dark Chocolate Cranberry Almond Cookies
- Texture: You’ll enjoy extra soft and thick cookie centers with irresistibly crisp edges.
- Flavor: So much flavor! The cookies are filled with dark chocolate, spiced with warm cinnamon, and have pops of nutty and tart flavors from the almonds and cranberries.
- Time: You can prepare the cookie dough within minutes, but you’ll need 2 hours to chill it before baking. It’s a fairly sticky dough and without time in the refrigerator, the cookie dough will melt into flat greasy puddles all over the baking sheet.
Recipe Testing: What Works & What Doesn’t
This cookie dough is a little bit of a test experiment, based off our soft chocolate chip cookies.
- Flour: We add a teeny bit of flour to bulk up the dough, but not too much to dry out the baked cookies – only 2 extra Tablespoons more than our Soft White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies which aren’t quite as thick.
- Cornstarch: The cookies are still super soft even after we reduced the cornstarch to 1 teaspoon.
- Cinnamon: Just a hint of cinnamon gives these cookies that warm, cozy flavor.
- Texture Boosters: We add plenty of real dark chocolate, a generous handful of dried cranberries, and some sliced almonds for even more crunchy texture.
- One thing we didn’t change: We still use more brown sugar than white granulated sugar in this recipe. Remember, brown sugar is what helps create a super soft and tender dough.
Best Chocolate to Use
- Dark chocolate bars. We recommend using quality dark chocolate bars. We usually use Baker’s brand, but Ghirardelli, Lindt, or Nestlé baking bars also work beautifully. What we love most about using real chocolate bars (as opposed to chocolate chips which contain stabilizers) is that real chocolate melts down. Melty chocolate means pools of melted chocolate inside each warm cookie. Is that enough to convince you?
- Chocolate chips. Though we prefer the bars, you could also use dark chocolate chips – Ghirardelli makes a 60% bittersweet chocolate chip that would be fantastic in these.
- Other types of chocolate. Of course, if dark chocolate just isn’t your thing, don’t worry. Semisweet, milk chocolate, or even white chocolate work too.
More Cookie Recipes You’ll Love
- White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
- Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Iced Oatmeal Cookies
- Maple Brown Sugar Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
Dark Chocolate Cranberry Almond Cookies
- Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours, 35 minutes
- Yield: 24 cookies
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
These dark chocolate cranberry almond cookies are massively thick, buttery soft, spiced with cinnamon, and loaded with cranberries, almonds, and pools of melted dark chocolate.
- 2 cups + 2 Tablespoons (265g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks or 170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150g) packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 6 ounces (170g) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped*
- 3/4 cup (105g) dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup (55g) sliced, slivered, or chopped almonds (I used closer to 2/3 cup)*
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars together on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. With the mixer running on low speed, beat in the chocolate, dried cranberries, and almonds until combined. Cover and chill the dough for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator (and up to 4 days). If chilling for longer than a few hours, allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling and baking because the dough will be quite hard.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
- Roll cookie dough into balls, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough per cookie, and place 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft.
- Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. While the cookies are still warm, I like to press a few more chocolate chunks/dried cranberries/or almonds into the tops– this is only for looks!
- Make Ahead Instructions: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 4. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Here’s how to freeze cookie dough!
- Special Tools (affiliate links): KitchenAid Stand Mixer, Silpat Baking Mat, Baking Sheet, and Cooling Rack
- Chocolate: I used 1 and 1/2 4-ounce bars of Baker’s bittersweet chocolate to get the 6 ounces. You can also use a semi-sweet chocolate bar, a milk chocolate bar, or a white chocolate bar. 1 cup of chocolate chips works too!
- Almonds: Anywhere around 1/2 – 2/3 cup sliced almonds is perfect.
Keywords: dark chocolate cranberry almond cookies
Reader Comments & Reviews
Love it!! I have made dozens of your recipes and this is a new favorite of mine! I used a cup of dark chocolate chips. I love the flavor combination with the cranberries and almonds. I made some to share with friends this week and last night made a second batch so that I can send some to family out of state – and keep a few for myself to nibble on with a cup of tea. Thank you!
Has anyone made the recipe as bars in a eight in pan. If so how long do you cook them Thank you
Hi Mary! We recommend a 9×9 inch pan, the bars would be quite thick in an 8×8 pan. We’re unsure of the exact bake time.
I found these a little too dry although the flavour was good. Not sure if there was too much flour although I always spoon and level.
Definitely pairs well with a coffee!
Can you use dark chocolate chips instead of chopped chocolate?
“What we love most about using real chocolate bars (as opposed to chocolate chips which contain stabilizers) is that real chocolate melts down.” This is no longer true. Chocolate chips now have the same ingredient list as chocolate bars if you buy the higher end ones. That being said this cookie recipe is delicious, and don’t feel like you HAVE to use a cut up chocolate bar.
I made these cookies 3x now and they are a hit each time. My husband who does not usually like sweets loves these. Thank you Sally for sharing your recipes. Your recipes are well-tested and it shows.
These were just one of your cookies I made this Christmas. Though I might have baked a little too long, they were still delicious.
Taste is fine. Texture is fine. I prefer a cookie that spreads a bit more. I think it’s the cornstarch.
Can’t wait to try these cookies. But can I use glacé cherries instead of cranberries. Also as I have a nut allergy what can I substitute for the almonds
Hi Dia, Any chopped dried fruit would work. You can leave out the almonds without altering the recipe at all, though you could add extra dried cherries and chocolate chips to the dough if desired. Enjoy!
I’ll be making these cookies on the weekend — they look so yummy! Congratulations to Sally & her team on the beautiful new website! I wish you lots of continued success.
Can I omit the cranberries? Most berries aren’t something I can just go to the store to buy whenever, especially when it’s not the season. Or is there a fruit that I can replace them with? I could use raisins or red dates
Hi Johana! Raisins would work beautifully in these cookies!
Yeah, so. When writing this, I forgot that I’m slightly allergic to raisins. It’s a pretty new thing, so it wasn’t on my mind at the time. It’s nothing serious, but I’d like not to try my luck. Would the red dates work? I can also use dried figs or dried apricots
Any chopped dried fruit would work. Or you can simply leave them out with no other changes.
(Sally, don’t look) I usually cheat when chilling cookies by sticking them into the freezer for 30 min+ instead of 2 hours in the fridge.
These were a big hit at my Christmas cookie party! Thanks for the simple and fantastic recipe!
Do the slivered almonds need to be toasted before they are added to the dough mixture?
Hi Janine, We don’t toast them first but you certainly can for extra flavor.
Just stopping by to say how much I love these cookies, as I look this recipe for the hundredth time. I love the combination of flavors and the crisp edges. Perfection!
Thank you so much for the kind note, Eleasa! So glad to hear these cookies are a favorite for you.
Would it work well here if the cranberries were replaced with dried cherries?
Definitely! Dried cherries would be a delicious swap.
Do you think pecans would work in place of almonds? I couldn’t find sliced or slivered almonds at the store but I think pecans and cranberries go well together.
Truly a great recipe! Thank you for sharing.
could you put the dough in a 8×8 or 9×9 pan and bake them into bars?
Hi Carrie, absolutely! We recommend a 9×9 inch pan. We’re unsure of the exact bake time.
Can i use walnuts instead of almonds?
Sorry left off the stars… to busy eating cookies!!!
Hellooo Fall!!! These cookies are a nice alternative to chocolate chip cookies. They just scream Fall with each bite. Each to mix, bake and eat!!! Thank you!!!
The best looking cookies, I will try it ASA I can get to make it.
Thank you Sally ( one of my nieces name Sally)
Not sure what the instructions mean when it says roll out dough. Do you roll flat and use cookie cutter? They looked like drop cookies.
I don’t think you roll out the dough.I think you just roll the dough into balls before baking.
Can I leave out the almonds?
Hi Sandy, You can leave out the almonds without altering the recipe at all, though you could add extra dried cranberries and chocolate chips to the dough if desired.
I have bags of whole cranberries. Can these be used instead of the dried cranberries?
Hi Randy, We don’t recommend fresh cranberries in this cookie recipe.
Do I have to chill the dough for the 2 hours or can I just go to the baking part? If so, what does the chilling do for the dough? Thanks
Hi Irma, chilling the dough for at least 2 hours is imperative for this recipe. Without chilling, the cookies will spread too much in the oven. If you’re interested, we share more about the importance of chilling cookie dough in this post on 5 Cookie Baking Tips to Improve Your Next Batch.