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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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

339 Comments

  1. Agree with all posters: REALLY delicious! I doubled the recipe, but only used 21 TBS butter rather than 24 (= to three sticks). I thought it might have an affect on texture, etc, but it did not. I did use 1 large egg and one extra large egg because that is what I had on hand. I reduced the overall sugar as well, just a bit (by 50 g for the doubled recipe). I have never seen a recipe that included cornstarch! I will definitely check out your other cookie recipes! Thanks for a great recipe!

  2. hi sally! i’ve been an avid follower of your blog and i’ve tried a lot of your recipes. I’m just wondering why every time i make the white chocolate and cranberry cookies, they turn out a bit greasy and so soft that they fall apart when you take them out of the pan. i’ve tried increasing the baking time by about a minute or so. sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t. should i increase the flour in the recipe? or do i just chill the dough longer?

    thanks!

    1. Hmm. Are you sure you are measuring everything appropriately? Are you at high altitude by chance? Or in a very humid environment? I suggest adding a little more flour or chilling the dough for longer.

      1. yup i live in manila so humid is an understatement. hahaha… will try chilling the dough longer. thanks for the awesome recipe though! cheers to you 🙂

  3. I have been made lots of your recipes . However, most of them do not come out flat ar all, I usually have to flat them . I made this cookies twice today. First one chilled for 2 hours, and as usually didn’t flat , so I floated them, and after 11minutes, they are not anywhere golden brown . Once they cooled, they taste like uncooked in the middle. So I made a second butch, I decided not to chill at all, I made a ball before I put in the oven, after 12 minutes, they are not anywhere golden brown and come out as balls as well, so I flattened them again, don’t know what happened. Can you help me?

  4. I just made these cookies but 1 Tbsp was misleading for the size. Why aren’t they flatter? Why don’t they look like the pictures?

    1. I’ve made these cookies several times. And they turn out perfect everytime. The secert is weighing out the flour and sugar. Baking is a chemical reaction. If you have too much flour the cookies will not flaten. I work ed d in a bakery when i was in school we weighed everything out. 

  5. Absolutely delicious! These are some of the best cookies I think I’ve ever made and eaten. I did bake it for longer so they weren’t very soft, but that’s because I prefer chewier cookies. They had such a beautiful brown butter flavour, particularly around the edges, even though there’s no brown butter involved.

  6. Thanks so much these are great!  Only thing I changed, is that I added some pecans and chilling for an hour was plenty.  These are a hit!

  7. These are just amazing! Full of flavour and the soft texture tops it off. I just have trouble deciding whether my cookies are done or still a bit under-baked.. But anyways, thanks for this great recipe! x

  8. Hi! I loved these as is, but was hoping to add oats. I love oats and dried fruit and still want a chewy cookie. Should I sub some oats for the flour, or perhaps use an oatmeal cookie recipe of yours and just add the chocolate and cranberries? What do you recommend? Thanks! 

  9. Hey Sally
     I am a fan. I love your recipes esp pineapple upside down cake. It’s best on this planet and my family is crazy for it. I just wanted to know that in this recipe you have added cornflour. How do you decide that whether to add cornflour or as a matter of fact any other ingredient that alters the basic chemistry ? How do you make your own recipes? As in how do you decide what is to go in and in how much quantities? I am a novice but i wish to understand the basic chemistry of baking so I can make recipes of my own. I hope my questions makes sense now. Thanks in advance. 

    Happy Baking

    Sending you love from India

    1. I simply like to add cornstarch/cornflour to chocolate chip cookie recipes– and when I use different add-ins in chocolate chip cookies (like white chocolate chips and dried cranberries). Cornstarch makes them super soft. For recipe development, that just comes with experience in the kitchen. Lots of trials/errors. I always start with a few basic recipes I have and work from there.

  10. Another win Sally! These are SO good – didn’t change a single thing. I am physically restraining myself from going for another one. On a sort of sidenote, this was the first time I used silpats and what a game changer! 

  11. They taste lovely but don’t look as pretty as yours. I teally wanted the cranberries and chips to show like yours as they are for a Christmas party. The cranberry and the chips don’t show as abundantly on the top of the cookie as your pics do. If I make them again I may have to add more cranberries and chips. 

    1. When Bloggers make their cookies for photos, before they put them in the oven, they put a few pieces of whatever’s going into the cookies on top, so when they bake, those pieces are not covered by dough. It’s extra work, but it’s the only way to make cookies with pieces off add-ins that aren’t covered by any dough. 🙂

  12. hello, 
    I am going to make this cookie dough today and chill overnight so I don’t have a ton of thing to do thanksgiving morning. I was wondering how important a hand/stand mixer is? We just moved and sold ours and haven’t replaced it yet. Can I just use a wish or should I have my husband go pick me up one? Thank you! 

  13. These were amazing! Simply divine. Tasted like they came from a bakery. I will use this base for all my cookies from now on. I’m going to try it with chocolate chips because my kids aren’t fans of the dried cranberries. Guess I’ll be eating the whole batch. 🙂 thank you for this incredibly delicious recipe! 

  14. When I make a new recippe I always always follow the recipe to the T.  And this one was no exception.  I saw the picture of the cranberry/white chip cookies and my mouth watered and I had to make them!! Boy was I disappointed! I was waiting for the tangy cranberry flavor but it wasn’t there.  The cookies were just blah sugar! They were soft chewy yada yada yada,  but not going on my list of rave reviews of sent to work with hubby.  Sorry,  call it as I taste em! 

    1. I’ve noticed that they type of dried cranberry you use in recipes has a *huge* difference in flavor. For instance, Craisins are extremely sweet with no tartness at all. So when I want a tart flavor, I buy the store brand in Target. They are very tart, not too sweet, and work out very well. If you don’t have a Target store there, I would try different store brands until you find one to your liking, or maybe look up recipes to try drying your own without sugar. Good luck! 🙂

  15. Hi Sally! I love soft cookies, but my friend prefers crispy and crunchier ones. May I know if adding more flour will help make it crispier? Thank you (:

  16. Made these for the first time last night for my office. I made a double batch, which yielded 73 cookies. They were a HUGE hit at my office! I work a private membership club and our head chef, who is amazingly talented, loved them.

    I followed the recipe exactly except for the fact I only chilled them for an hour. They needed to bake longer than 8-10 minutes in my oven; when put in as balls only, about 14 minutes and when flattened before going in, about 12 minutes. Very good recipe that I will be making again.

  17. Hi Sally, I love this recipe! I was trying to make it and it was a little dry. The soft is there but it was a little dry and granny texture. Please let me know what I did wrong.  Thank you again. 

  18. My cookies didn’t expand and they’re not very gooey. Do you know what I am doing wrong? I took them out of the fridge after 7-8 hours and let them get to room temperature about 30 minutes. 

  19. Sally- I am so disappointed with this recipe. I am a professional baker and have run a food blog for a few years. I have followed you for some time and never made one of your recipes. I had to bring cookies to work and really wow everyone–so after carefully selecting, I really wanted to take on one of your recipes.
    These cookies never flattened-even when I flattened them it gave them a PB cookie appearance. In order to cook the cookie thoroughly it caused the edges to brown too much and once cooled, the cookie was rather crisp. 
    I see you like to use starch in your recipes which is an interesting approach. 
    The texture of these cookies resembled that of chips ahoy albeit freshly baked. 
    I enjoy your blog but from one baker to another wanted to share this experience.

    I want to try a few more of your recipes so I will carry on. Perhaps you can let us know why they never flattened? 

  20. Hello Sally, 
    In my country it is very hard to find brown sugar,  so I was wondering if adding all white sugar would require me to change something in the recipe since brown sugar adds moisture. 

  21. Is it true that you can take out the pan and bang it on the counter and that’s supposed to flattened out the cookies and that it takes out the air for a chewier cookie??

  22. Soooo disappointed,, was looking forward to puffy cookies, however after following recipe exactly, my cookies were totally flat. Taste great- BF wouldn’t let me throw them out. But I think a failure. What could have gone wrong??
    Laura

    1. Butter, use room temp real butter, and high quality butter. I use challange or Kerry gold butter girl all my baking cheap butter gas too much oil and makes the dough spread . Also you have to chill the cookies 

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