Imagine, if you will, that a cranberry-orange scone and a cookie got together and decided to have a baby. These cookies would be that baby. With hints of orange zest and tart cranberries, these cookies take on the traditional flavors of a scone, but with the added decadence and richness of a cookie. Pair these with an afternoon cup of tea or serve them as an after dinner dessert. Or, do as I do and eat them for breakfast. In fact, eat them whenever you want because they are delicious and I am not the boss of you.
Cranberry Cream Cheese Cookies, makes about 2 dozen
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Grated Zest of one Orange
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 1/2 cups All Purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dried, unsweetened cranberries (for a tarter, more intense cranberry flavor, finely chop the cranberries).
- Extra sugar and kosher salt for sprinkling the tops of the cookies
- Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, or an Electric mixer with a large mixing bowl, (or a wooden spoon and your arm). I use a Kitchen Aid.
- 9” X 13” Baking sheets
- Silicone baking Sheets or Parchment paper to line baking sheets (In a pinch you can grease your baking sheets with butter, Shortening, or a non-stick cooking spray).
- Separate mixing Bowl for dry ingredients
- Rubber spatula to scrape sides of bowl
- Zester or grater for zesting the orange (I use a Microplane zester because it gives you a very fine grate. You can also use a grater. Just use one of the sides that has a fine grate to it)
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line your baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Set pans aside
2) Combine dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon) in a separate bowl using a whisk or a fork.
3) Cream the cream cheese, butter, brown sugar, white sugar, and orange zest on medium speed (Kitchen aid speed of 4-6) for 5 minutes to incorporate air.
4) Add the eggs, one at time along with the vanilla to your creamed mixture.
5) When the wet ingredients are combined, stop the mixer and scrape the side of the bowl. Turn the mixer back on for 30 seconds to ensure the wet ingredients are thoroughly combined. Turn off the mixer
6) Add the half of the dry ingredients. Start mixing the dough on lowest speed to begin combining the ingredients (reduces splatter). Then gradually turn the speed up back to medium speed. Mix until dry ingredients are barely combined (30 seconds to a minute, tops). Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl down. Then repeat this step with the rest of the dry ingredients. Be careful not to over mix your dough or the cookies will become tough.
7) Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add your cranberries. Turn the mixer to low-medium speed (kitchen aid speed of 3 or 4) until the cranberries are evenly combined (about 20 to 30 seconds)
8) With an ice cream scoop (I use one that is 2” in diameter), spoon out your dough onto your prepped baking sheet. Cookies should be about 2-2 ½” inches (or 3-4 fingers width) apart. Because these cookies will be larger than average (about 2 tablespoons), they will need a little more room. Think 6 cookies per pan instead of the average 12.
9) Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with a pinch of salt and sugar each.
10) Bake for 12-14 minutes until slightly golden, rotating the pan half way through cooking. *If Baking two sheets in the oven, switch sheets half way through baking so they bake evenly
11) Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes and then move them to cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days.