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We’ve been keeping it pretty low-sugar and low-carb around here for the last few weeks, but it is, after all, Christmas! I had to bake up some treats, even though I did end up freezing more than half of them so we wouldn’t eat too many. It would be really easy to eat a lot of these at once – the cream cheese dough makes them soft, pillowy, and dreamy.
Actually, I have to admit that freezing most of the cookies doesn’t stop me from eating them. They’re also super delicious right out of the freezer! Oh, well, I tried. =)
These cookies are extra special because they replace a portion of the usual quantity of butter with cream cheese, which makes them super soft. There really isn’t a cream cheese flavor in the finished cookies, though! You can use cream cheese in a block or in a tub, just don’t use the whipped cream cheese. Or a flavored cream cheese, either – that might taste weird!
The cookies don’t spread much in the oven, but you still shouldn’t pack them in too close on your baking sheet because they are fairly large. I made ping pong ball-sized balls of dough and baked them 9 to a sheet. You can either bake three separate batches or, if you have a second baking sheet, you can bake two sheets at once if you rotate them top to bottom half way through baking. I lined my baking sheet with my Silpat mat, but you can use parchment paper, instead.
- 1¾ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter
- ¼ cup cream cheese
- ¾ cup brown sugar (I used light brown, but you can use light or dark)
- ¼ cup granulated white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1¼ cups white chocolate chips
- ¾ cup dried cranberries
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, preheat your oven to 350º Fahrenheit and prep your baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.
- If you have a stand mixer, Place the butter, cream cheese, and sugars in its mixing bowl and cream. If you have a hand mixer (or a very determined arm and a fork!), combine them in a medium mixing bowl and cream by hand.
- Once the sugars and fats are combined and creamy, add in the eggs, one at a time, and beat to combine. Add the vanilla.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing the whole time, until all the flour mixture has been added and the ingredients are just combined.
- Fold in the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries.
- Wet your hands very slightly to keep the dough from sticking to them and make little ping pong/golf ball-sized balls from the dough. Space them a couple inches apart on your baking tray - you should be able to fit about 9 on a regular baking sheet.
- Stick any remaining dough in the fridge for the time being.
- Bake until the edges are golden brown but the centers are not yet browned, about 12-14 minutes.
- Allow cookies to cool for 4-5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack.
- Continue baking until all your dough is gone.
The tart cranberries go so well with the sweet chocolate chips, and the brown sugar gives the cookies a slight caramel flavor. Best of all is their amazing, soft texture – no crunchy cookies that shatter into crumbs here!
As you can tell if you look at my recipes for the last few weeks, I’ve been pretty enthusiastic about cooking with cranberries. I’m kind of sad that, in another week or two, that won’t really be “cool” and “in-season” any more! Have you been enjoying cranberries, or are you ready for them to go the way of October’s pumpkin everything trend?