Soft-Baked White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookies

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Perfectly soft and thick white chocolate cranberry cookies. One of my favorite flavor combinations ever!

Soft-baked White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies using a secret ingredient to make them super soft. Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Thanksgiving turkey is leaving me completely stuffed, but in my world… there is always room for another cookie.  Especially a cookie that is so ultra soft, it tastes like a famous Mrs. Fields cookie or a Pepperidge Farm soft-baked cookie.

Overloaded with white chocolate chips and tangy dried cranberries, I’d like to say… come to mama you gorgeous softie!

Soft-baked White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies using a secret ingredient to make them super soft. Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

A spin-off of my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies, today’s cookie stands the true cookie test: remaining ultra-soft, even the next day.

What’s my secret? Cornstarch!  Yes, cornstarch.

Making your baked cookies soft, thick, and chewy has never been easier.  Add a touch of cornstarch to your cookie dough and prepared to be amazed.  Think about it: often used as a thickening agent, cornstarch gives your gravy, pie fillings, soups, and glazes a more bodied and full texture.  The same goes for your cookie dough – cornstarch will help your dough remain more compact during the baking process, leaving the cookies soft, thick, and puffy.

Look at how puffy it made my chocolate chip cookies!

Soft-Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies | sallysbakingaddiction.com

Mixing cornstarch with all-purpose flour will give you cake flour; cake flour is a much softer flour than regular.  The lack of high gluten content in cake flour makes the texture of your cakes and pastries much lighter.

While there is no cake flour in these cookies, you are getting the same soft-effect by mixing cornstarch with all-purpose flour. Moving along…

I adore white chocolate in cookies around the holidays. Well, I adore white chocolate cookies any time of year… but they are a favorite add-in when I’m doing my holiday baking.  Dried cranberries give the cookies a bright festive color and provide a tart flavor burst in each bite.  A soft cookie with a tangy punch of flavor. I like it!

White chocolate and dried cranberries are an impeccable combination, and these cookies are LOADED with both.  Told ya, I am a sucker for super chunky cookies.

Soft-baked White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies using a secret ingredient to make them super soft. Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Most important about this cookie recipe is the baking time. You must watch the cookies closely – I didn’t even leave the kitchen as they baked. Take the cookies out of the oven at a precise 8 or 9 minutes. The cookies will appear soft and undone in the centers, but will eventually firm up as they set.  Allow the cookies to cool for 5-10 minutes on the baking sheet after you remove them from the oven.

Also important in this cookie recipe is the use of dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar. I swear by dark brown sugar in my oatmeal cookies – it gives the cookies a more chewy texture, less crispy texture. Light vs dark brown sugar is mostly interchangeable in dessert recipes.  But I find that dark brown sugar gave these cookies a rich aroma and unique depth of flavor.

I know I sound like a broken record, but I just love dark brown sugar in cookies!

Soft-baked White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies using a secret ingredient to make them super soft. Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Fresh out of the oven, these cookies are incredibly gooey – each bite will literally melt in your mouth.  I brought them into work and they disappeared within 30 minutes. At 9am in the morning!

Soft-baked White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies using a secret ingredient to make them super soft. Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Trust me, these cookies are irresistible!

Soft-Baked White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

Soft, thick, and puffy white chocolate chip cranberry cookies. The cornstarch is the secret!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks to 170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch (aka cornflour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (135g) white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup (105g) dried cranberries

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color. Beat in egg and vanilla on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt together until combined. On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be quite thick. Add the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries  mix on low for about 5-10 seconds until evenly disbursed. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough.
  3. Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes-- if the cookie dough chilled longer than 2 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This makes the cookie dough easier to scoop and roll.
  4. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  5. Once chilled, the dough will be slightly crumbly, but will come together if you work the dough with your hands as you roll into individual balls. Scoop and roll balls of dough, about 1 Tablespoon of dough each, into balls. Place 10 - 12 on each baking sheet. Bake in batches for 8-10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. They will look extremely soft when you remove them from the oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. If the cookies are too puffy, try gently pressing down on them with the back of a spoon. They will slightly deflate as you let them cool. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

Make ahead tip: 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 3 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. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.

Recipe Notes:

*Do not drop dough onto warm cookie sheets. Allow cookie sheets to cool completely between batches. 

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339 Comments

  1. Girl we are twins – did I tell you I made white choc/cranberry cookies? I’m posting them this week! I tweaked my sugardoodles and I also made some cornstarch cookies! I was a baking machine before my trip 🙂

    Your cookies look to-die-for-good! Sally – they are perfect! I got really got results with mine but was reinventing the wheel. I coulda just waited for your recipe and used that b/c they are.totally.perfect! I love how chunky and loaded up they are – the ONLY way to do cookies like this!

    1. yes you did tell me you made white choc cranberry cookies from your sugardoodle recipe! Thanks for the compliments – these cookies are exceptionally good looking from the pretty cranberries. 🙂 I can’t wait to se your version! I’m buying bread flour this weekend for some cookie baking!

  2. White chocolate and cranberry are one of my fave combos! At work, we sell homemade cookies from a local bakery and they make an oatmeal white choc cranberry cookie that tastes AMAZING warmed up. While that cookie is delicious, hers are nowhere near as puffy or golden as yours. It truly is the cornstarch and that dark brown sugar that make ALL the difference! Happy Thanksgiving, Sally! Indulge in a couple extra of these cookies for me 🙂

  3. These look absolutely delicious! I have completely been bitten by the white chocolate and cranberry combo, using it in both bars and banana muffins. I like how you called them “soft-baked”, it adds a certain sense of sinfulness that makes me want to try them even more!

    1. they do taste sinful. they melt in your muth! i love white chocolate and cranberry together – i am headed to check out your muffins now!

  4. The thought of even looking at food right now makes me shudder. Who came up with this holiday again?

    These cookies look great though. Maybe I could squeeze one in there…

    1. I am still SO FULL, even the next morning. but I had to share these cookies with you – they are too good not to! Hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving!

  5. Sally, these are my two favorite ingredients for cookies ever! If I had to pick only one cookie to eat for the rest of my life, I’d go with cranberry and white chocolate…though I’d totally miss butterscotch, haha. I can’t wait to try this recipe with cornstarch, though! Thanks, and I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

    1. I think I kind of agree with you Caley! If I only had one cookie for the rest of my life, i’d want it to be these sweet/tangy, soft, chewy, and thick cookies. plus, i love white chocolate! Hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving as well!

  6. Sally, you make the best cookies I’ve ever seen–seriously, you are the cookie queen! I love, love, love cranberry and white chocolate, and these look amazing. I soooo need to try your cornstarch trick–ooooh, now I have a hankering to bake some cookies on my day off work today! 🙂

  7. Girl, you are a cookie making genius! I just love everything you make and all the fun little tips you share with it. I now chill all my cookie dough because you tell me it’s best:-) And I’m with Ashley, cookies sound like a good idea today!!!

  8. LOVE it sally 🙂 you always amaze me with your yummy recipes and pictures! These look fantastic and perfect! I just made a white chocolate chip cranberry cookie this last week too (its a pudding cookie haha and haven’t posted it yet) but yours look insanely delicious! I just love coming to visit your blog!

    1. Nikki. I was just talking about your beautiful cookies the other day to my non-blogging friend. You make everything look SO elegant ans beautiful. Thank you for the wonderful compliment, that means a lot to me. 🙂

  9. Gosh darn you, Sally! 😉 I just made white chocolate cranberry cookies and they are clearly nowhere as good as these. Yours look SOO good. I need to go back to my own recipe and make them more Sally-like! Or just make yours. 🙂

    1. Nope! Just make sure you use a non-stick cookie sheet or a silicone baking mat, which I highly recommend. Not required of course – just a non-stick cookie sheet will do.

  10. I just made these, but I changed a few things: I used 1/2 dark and white chocolate, used dried cherries instead of cranberries, and I might lower the amount of sugar next time.
    I used a small cookie scoop to measure out the cookies, but they turned out really puffy when done instead of your flatter cookies. They are good, but they remind me of my chocolate chip cookie recipe that also uses cornstarch and they puff up a lot.
    I used 2 tsp cornstarch and 1 tsp baking soda like your recipe called for, but is it correct? I just want to make sure.

    1. Perhaps I baked mine on a more humid day with moisture in the air, which is why they didn’t puff up like you say yours did! I can’t remember the weather conditions that day. Regardless, I think mine were pretty thick but I’m dying over how thick you say yours are – that’s fabulous! the recipe reads correctly, yes – 2 tsp CS and 1 tsp BS. Thanks Rayna!!

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