Dark Chocolate Cranberry Almond Cookies

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.

stack of dark chocolate cranberry almond cookies

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.

overhead image of dark chocolate cranberry almond cookies

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Cornstarch: The cookies are still super soft even after we reduced the cornstarch to 1 teaspoon.
  3. Cinnamon: Just a hint of cinnamon gives these cookies that warm, cozy flavor. 
  4. Texture Boosters: We add plenty of real dark chocolate, a generous handful of dried cranberries, and some sliced almonds for even more crunchy texture.
  5. 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.

dark chocolate cranberry almond cookie dough in a glass bowl

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.

dark chocolate cranberry almond cookies

dark chocolate cranberry almond cookies

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stack of dark chocolate cranberry almond cookies

Dark Chocolate Cranberry Almond Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • 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

Description

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.


Ingredients

  • 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)*

Instructions

  1. Whisk the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!

Notes

  1. 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!
  2. Special Tools (affiliate links): KitchenAid Stand Mixer, Silpat Baking Mat, Baking Sheet, and Cooling Rack
  3. 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!
  4. Almonds: Anywhere around 1/2 – 2/3 cup sliced almonds is perfect.

Keywords: dark chocolate cranberry almond cookies

71 Comments

  1. I just made these cookies! Amaaazing!!! Delicious. The reason I am writing this comment is to get my fingers off them so that my family could still try some when they get home. I stuck completely to the recipe with dark chocolate and all everything else. (Except for 20% less sugar as I always do to any recipe.) They are heavenly, just perfect 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing it.

  2. I just ate one of these warm from the oven. Oooooohhhhhh my goodness. So tasty. 

  3. These cookies are delicious! They are jam PACKED with chocolate, cranberries, and almonds – yum!

  4. Made these this weekend with my sister for a cookie baking day.  Loved the flavor combination!!  I think I might make these for a Christmas cookie swap! Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

  5. These may be my new favorite cookie. I only had semi sweet chips on hand so I went with those and they were sooooo good. I will definitely make again wth dark chocolate soon. I froze a dozen to keep for the holidays. They are a very elegant cookie in my opinion! Yum! 

  6. Hi Sally! So I bake your recipes ALL, the time and they are literally my go-to. This is the first time I have had trouble in the kitchen with one of your recipes. I followed the directions, cornstarch, room temp egg, and plenty of chilling time, etc. I even weighed my flour. I felt the cookies hardly spread and if it weren’t for whacking them on the counter and adding more dark chocolate they resembled more the shape of snowball cookies. The flavor was delicious, don’t get me wrong, but I’m scratching my head as to what went wrong. 

    1. Same happened with mine. I have a batch frozen and will flatten a bit before baking. That may help. 

  7. Amazing cookies!!! I have tried a few of your cookie recipes and each has been a huge hit!!! Easy to follow recipes and a big success each time. Not to mention major flavour!! Thank you for sharing!!!

  8. My mom really loves almond and I was looking for something to make for Mother’s Day…. Sally (or anyone else out there!) – have you tried replacing some of the vanilla extract w/almond extract / do you think these flavors would work well w/that change? Thanks for any advice!

    1. Hi Elise! I haven’t tried adding almond extract yet. Let me know how you like it!

  9. Hi Sally. Will baking a little longer makes the cookies crispy ? Looking for a crispy rather than soft texture.

    1. Yes, you can bake them a minute or two longer!

  10. Made a variation of this on Saturday :). I accidentally picked up dried cherries instead of dried cranberries and I used sunflower seeds instead of almonds because my husband can’t have nuts and the cookies were still delicious :). Thanks for the recipe!

  11. Hii these look awesome! Is there anything I can use instead of the cornstarch? I don’t have any on me!
    Also can I use dark brown sugar?

    1. Hi Lisa! You can leave out the cornstarch. It’s just there for added softness, but the cookies are plenty soft even without it. You can use dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar.

  12. Can I substitute fresh cranberries ?

    1. Hi Liz! I don’t recommend fresh cranberries in this cookie recipe.

  13. Hi, Sally! These cookies are so delicious!! The next time I make them, my husband wants me to add some oatmeal (and leave out the almonds). How much oatmeal do you think I should use? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Kristen! Adding enough oats to make these oatmeal cookies would dry them out. So I suggest using my chocolate chip oatmeal cookie recipe and adding the cranberries and almonds. 🙂

  14. Sally! Where have you been all my life??? Thank you for the most sensational, delicious and easy to follow recipes which have always turned out perfectly. Your CRUSTY cranberry no-knead bread is a favorite in my family and I’m adding to my repertoire daily with your website recipes, tips, etc. You’re a GENIUS! So happy to have discovered your site. A huge, since thank you!

  15. Susan Drummond says:

    Hi Sally! I love every recipe of yours that I’ve tried. One question, when you say roll the cookie dough, do you mean roll each portion into a ball? I’m no quite clear on that. Thanks!
    Susan

    1. Yes, exactly!

  16. Sally, is there any way in which I could incorporate some oats into these? I love oatmeal cookies with all sorts of add-ins like in these. Or would you recommend using another recipe for oatmeal cookies and then adding the add-ins from this recipe? Thanks!

    1. I recommend using my oatmeal chocolate chip cookies recipe. You can swap in dark chocolate chips, sliced almonds, and dried cranberries. Enjoy!

  17. Ellen Liberman says:

    Cookies are my thing. Every Christmas, I make 13 different kinds and give them away. I always try a new one, and this year it was this recipe. O.M.G. My new favorite! I’ve made them twice since — the combination of flavors and texture is nothing short of addictive. Small quibble — the recipe only makes 3 dozen. Brava, Sally!

  18. I really love this base recipe except that I’m not getting the crisp edge. All ingredients are weighed, thermometer in the oven & cookies baked to golden brown. My only changes are omitting cinnamon and using 10.75 oz chocolate chips as the only mix-in. The exterior is just slightly too soft. Any suggestions?

    1. A couple extra minutes in the oven should help, but I also have these crispy chocolate chip cookies too. You could add the dried cranberries and almonds to that cookie dough too!

  19. Can you make this recipe as bars instead of cookies, and if so, what size pan should I use?
    Thanks

    1. Absolutely! I recommend a 9×9 inch pan.

  20. If you left out the almonds would you need to add another ingredient to make up for that? I am not a nut lover. Thank you!

    1. No need to alter the recipe at all, though you could add extra dried cranberries and chocolate chips to the dough if desired.

  21. I have been following you for a few years and have tried many of your recipes with good success . I cannot figure out why this particular cookie spread so much and came out a bit greasy. I made the first batch and it spread so flat. It deflated even more when I cooled them. I tried it again, with the same result. I chilled them overnight. I shaped them taller rather than rounder. I ran my silicone mats in the dishwasher. My oven may run a bit hotter but I don’t think it would make them spread. I used room temperature butter, which I put out for 1/2 hour before I used it. Do you think that would cause this? I am so disappointed, this cookie looked great in your picture.

    1. Hi Marcie, How frustrating! Sounds like you are doing most things right – hopefully my guide to prevent cookies from spreading will help you troubleshoot these cookies!

  22. Hi Sally! Could I double this recipe or do you recommend making two separate batches?

    1. Hi Tatiana! You can double the cookie dough with no issue.

  23. You’ve created another winner, Sally! I could not wait to try this recipe when I saw it come up in my FB feed recently. I loved the combination of textures and flavors from the bittersweet chocolate, craisins, and almonds. I used Ghiraredelli’s bittersweet chocolate chips, and their chips seem to take a long time to set up after cooling, so they were still melty and gooey for a long time, so for me, I feel that these work just as well as cutting up a bar of chocolate. I was worried that the cinnamon would be off-putting. Sometimes, I’ve tried recipes with chocolate and cinnamon together, and I don’t always love it. BUT, I thought since this was my first time making these, I should just risk trying the recipe as-is. I’m really glad I did. The cinnamon wasn’t off-putting at all. In fact, when I asked my husband if he could detect the cinnamon, he said he couldn’t either. The cookie just has a good flavor. The thickness of the cookie is perfect, too. I definitely think it needs more sliced almonds, like Sally mentioned using 2/3 cup. I only used 1/2 cup, since the bag of sliced almonds I had was only a 1-cup bag, and I was hoping to make a second batch. For those who don’t care for nuts, I honestly don’t think the nuts would be off-putting. Since they’re thinly sliced, you don’t get the same eating experience as if you were biting into coarsely chopped nuts. I think these are really delicious… and I’m about to make the dough for a second batch later this afternoon. 😀

  24. I tried this recipe using a 1:1 substitute of gluten-free flour (which your supposed to). Overall, excellent cookie! Great flavors, love the chocolate, cranberries, almond combo. The only thing I personally did not like was the amount of add ins, which made it seem a bit overwhelming when eating the cookie. When I make them again, I will decrease the bits and cranberries by one-half and the chocolate down to 4 oz.

  25. Hi Sally! Are chocolate baking bars the same as chocolate compound? Also, can I use chocolate couverture chips instead of chocolate bars for cookie recipes ?

    1. Hi Lyra! It depends– chocolate compound can contain additional sweeteners, but they are (generally) fine to use where a recipe calls for pure chocolate baking bars. You can use chocolate couverture chips instead.

  26. I was trying to decide between this and the pistacho cranberry white chocolate ones. I like the flavor combo of those but want these thick lovely cookies. Could I just sub pistachios and white chocolate chips here? Should I chop the pistachios?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Krithika, Yes you can definitely use white chocolate chips and pistachios in these cookies! No need to chop the shelled pistachios first. Enjoy 🙂

  27. Hi sally, cookies came out really yummy but didn’t turn out the same way as the ones in your photo. They looked undercooked even though I followed your instructions step by step. Might there be a reason why they didn’t spread or brown as nicely?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Chloe, When cookies aren’t spreading, it usually means that there’s too much dry ingredient (flour) soaking up all the liquid. Make sure you are properly measuring your flour. When measuring flour, use the spoon & level method. Do not scoop the flour out of the container/bag. Doing so leaves you with excess flour in the cookie dough. If you’re in the middle of baking a batch and the cookies still aren’t spreading, remove them from the oven, and use a spoon to slightly flatten them out before returning them to the oven.

  28. This cookie baked up amazingly, as you mention elsewhere, the key is that the dough is slightly cold to control spread. For me, the chocolate tends to overwhelm the cranberries and almonds with that tasty base, but I’m not a chocolate chip fan, so will make this again without the chocolate. Any adjustments needed other than increasing berries? Or maybe I’ll grab some dried cherries as well….

  29. These cookies are the cats pajamas! So good and very do-able for a beginner baker! I’m so pleased with this recipe.

  30. Hi, I’m just wondering, could I add the same additions (chocolate, cranberries, and almonds) to your chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe? I love a really chewy cookie!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Definitely! Would love to hear how they go, Abby.

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