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.

333 Comments

  1. These were absolutely delicious. I subbed dark chocolate for white just because I think white chocolate is too sweet. I also had to bake for closer to 13 mins and they were still nice and soft. Great recipe!

  2. Thank you so much for putting your ingredients in grams also. Makes it easier for us over here in Europe to try, without getting a conversion table out! Looking forward to trying these 🙂

  3. As a few others have mentioned, I would like to add oatmeal and coconut (people at work like them that way) and I usually just throw in the coconut, but how much oatmeal would you suggest?

    Thank you.

  4. Hi Sally, 

    Just finding you and loving your blog! Just curious if this is a recipe I can double exactly or if I need to make any adjustments for doubling? (Sorry if this was already in a comment and I missed it.)

  5. I wanted to tell you I made these cookies last year for Christmas and they were a huge hit. I wanted to make them a Christmas tradition but everyone loves them so much I make them thanksgiving too. I also have a batch in the oven now because my 2 year old and husband couldn’t wait until Christmas. Thank you so much for a new, well-loved holiday cookie❤

  6. Just used this recipe and it worked out amazingly! I would definitely cut down on the sugar because of father white chocolate chips. I cooled by dough for 2+ hours and they turned out perfect. When they came out of the oven, I smooshed the, with the back of a spoon. Also didn’t wait for the baking tray to cool down before the next batch.

      1. I have made a recipe very similar to this with fresh cranberries and it is WONDERFUL! I will make this recipe tonight with fresh ones, and let you know how they turn out 🙂

  7. These turned out just like the picture! I even doubled the recipe for my neighborhood cookie exchange and got 5dz. I didnt have unsalted butter so I used salted butter and omitted the salt in the recipe. Then I also realized I used an extra 1/2 cup of sugar by mistake, that just meant I had to cream the butter longer. The cookies tasted great and the neighbors didn’t complain either. Making them again the same way, mistakes included and I baked mine for 13 min. The salted butter compensated for the extra sugar. And yes chilling the dough for a short time is key. Semper Fi and Merry Christmas!!

  8. These decadent little things are TO. DIE. FOR. Another slam dunk for my Christmas cookie tins this year! Or, rather, last year. (I’m very punctual about commenting on blogs, obviously.) Anyhoot! These cookies turned out BEAUTIFUL and they tasted like Christmas exploded in my mouth. Very holiday-ey! YAY!

    One quick note: I made two batches of these beauties, and on the first one, I used regular dried cranberries. On the second batch I used craisins infused with CHERRY JUICE. This added another level of WOW to a cookie that was already off the charts!

    THANKS, SALLY! You’re definitely going to heaven for this. :o)

  9. These are just amazing! I have just discovered your blog and love it – if these are anything to go by, I’ll be using this a LOT. 

  10. The first time I made this recipe was a little over 2 years ago. I made the cookies for my boyfriend (we had just started dating), and he went crazy for them! We just got engaged, so I guess I should say “thank you!”

    I made them again today, but this time with dried blueberries. Delicious and perfect for spring!

  11. I love these cookies Sally. I always make your cookie doughs then refrigerate them overnight after
    forming them into balls. They always come out thick and soft. I ordered your new cookie book from Amazon and can’t wait for it to ship. You’re recipes are the best. I already have your candy book. Thanks for all the great recipes.

  12. Thank you for this recipe. The dark brown sugar definitely makes a difference like you said. I followed your recipe exactly as given and the cookies turned out perfect! 🙂

  13. I really would suggest decreasing the sugar amounts used in a lot of your baking recipes.  The sugar is overwhelming and way too much given folks are trying to eat a little bit “healthier,” at least in their minds.  But this cookie was waaaaaaay too sweet.  Prevents you from truly enjoying the taste of the cranberries and the chocolate chips.  I tweeked mine and lessen the sugar and they were delicious; family even commented on how good they were.

    1. Hi Ellie! I don’t suggest baking my cookies if you’re trying to eat healthier. They’re dessert. 🙂 Glad you were able to reduce the sugar based on your tastes.

  14. Sally,

    I realize they are desserts, but the sugar amount is a bit much.  That’s just my take.  I adjusted accordingly.

    Ellie Carter

  15. These cookies are the best! Truly my favorite. This will be my third year baking these for thanksgiving and again for Christmas. Thank you for sharing!

  16. I made these three years ago for a Christmas cookie competition and and I took first place with this recipe. They were awesome and came out perfectly chewy. I will be making them again tonight for a family thanksgiving dinner!

  17. I made these cookies for the first time  3-4 years ago and I have been making them every thanksgiving since. They have become a tradition for me to make these every year and everyone looks forward to it. I recently got engaged to my high school sweethearts this summer and I love knowing that this recipe will continue to be a tradition throughout our lives and passed down to whatever kids we will be blessed with. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe <3 

  18. I’m making these for the 2nd time. The first time they came out perfectly. This time they are going flat! What is going on!?!? I made a double batch and am using  different oven, but otherwise everything is the same. I checked the oven temp with an oven thermometer and it seems fine. I seem to be having a similar issue with my other cookies as well. Any ideas? Thanks!

    1. I figured it out. I had doubled the recipe and didn’t calculate the butter correctly. I had added way too much butter. I will definitely try these again as the first time they were devine!

      1. So glad you figured it out. My new patch was inhaled …. again. I only got 3 and I got 35 cookies. I
        Made a tad smaller this time so more to go around with coffee. I must get a mixer. After mixing everything by hand my whole life at 60 arthritis in hands says give up and get a mixer. And I have enough ingredients for a 3rd batch but think I’ll wait till right before Christmas to make.

  19. I see all the reviews and wanted to add this cookie to the holiday rotation. My cookies are not coming out anything like this picture. I baked them 10 minutes and they still seem raw on the inside and look way to puffy. I followed the recipe exactly. I feel like I wasted a load of time. I don’t know what went wrong here. 

    1. They look puffy in stove. Cook for amount of time suggested no more or they turn out crunchy not soft. Mine flatten as they cooled. But you can lightly touch them as cooling and clasped them.

  20. I made these today. OMG these are so wonderful. I took photos and text to my sister at work as I was mixing, rolling, baking. And I did it all without a mixer. Someone please tell Santa I desperately need one. Well maybe when I finish paying off the chemo bills. If any lady is reading this I want to say annual mammograms save lives. Please spread the word. I was diagnosed Thanksgiving last year (chemo, surgery, radiation). Its beed a ling road. And early detection saves the girls. Thank you Sally for your wonderful videos. You and the dogs kept me company throughout my treatment.

  21. I have made these twice and followed the recipe exactly – dark brown sugar, cornstarch, room temperature butter and egg etc. First time I chilled for 2 hours the second time overnight – the same results. The cookies are completely flat and spread out – nothing like the picture. They taste good but look horrible. What could be the issue? Is the recipe above missing an ingredient?

    1. No recipe isn’t missing anything. I made another batch today followed recipe and they are again beautiful, perfect cookies. I’m using all new ingredients purchased at Thanksgiving. Make sure your not using old ingredients. Because if you follow recipe they should come out perfect. This time I did have a lot of time so I didn’t chill dough and they are still perfect. Chilling makes dough easier to handle is only fifference I saw.

    2. I have made these on several occasions and always come out perfect except once when I used my stand mixer instead of hand mixing and I believe I also might have let the butter get too soft.

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