If there’s one thing I got really good at during the pandemic, it’s baking cookies.
- Stuck at home with some spare time? Bake cookies.
- Celebrating another holiday alone? Bake cookies.
- Can’t sleep at night? Bake cookies.
In times of joy and sadness, there is always a case to make for baking cookies. All it takes is a solid formula and the flavor options are limitless. When grocery shortages kept me on my toes, there wasn’t anything I wouldn’t put in a cookie. From oddball mix-ins to uncommon flours, nothing escaped my mixing bowl. Even ketchup and BBQ sauce became fodder for more sweet treats in my hands.
Infinitely scalable to feed an army or just one, I’m elated to increase the output again, as restrictions loosen and we approach a more “normal” festive season once again. Winterizing my trusty cookie formula with warm spices, tart and tangy cranberry sauce, and chewy bites of dried currants, you’d never know this approach was once born out of desperation and deficits.
Soft and toothsome, these morsels bake up with the ideal texture using common, inexpensive pantry ingredients. Approximately my 10,000th iteration of the basic blueprint, they’re definitely tried-and-true, worthy of a place in your kitchen, and stomach, too. There’s no wrong way to adapt them to your tastes; consider different nuts or dried fruits, like hazelnuts, walnuts, raisins, or dried cranberries, just for starters. Cut the recipe in half for a smaller crowd, or toss “extras” in the freezer to keep beautifully until cravings strike.
I’m grateful to leave most quirky habits from the pandemic behind, but this one is staying with me. Keep on baking, my friends, but make sure you share now!
- 3 Cups Light Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
- 1 1/4 Cups Cranberry Sauce, Mashed or Pureed
- 1 Cup Olive Oil
- Zest of 1 Orange (About 1 Tablespoon)
- 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
- 4 3/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup Dried Currants
- 1 Cup Toasted Pecan Pieces
- 2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 1/4 Teaspoons Ground Ginger
- 1/2 Teaspoon All Spice
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats; set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the sugars, cranberry sauce, oil, orange zest, vinegar, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, sift in the flour, and toss in the currants and pecans to coat. Add the baking powder, baking soda, ginger, and all spice. Stir well to combine.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry and stir with a wide spatula until thoroughly incorporated.
- Use an ice cream or cookie scoop to portion out 3 - 4 tablespoons of dough per cookie, placing them at least 1 1/2-inches apart; they do spread!
- Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, until no longer shiny on top. DO NOT OVER-BAKE! They may look borderline raw, but will continue to firm up as they cool. This is the ultimate secret to making perfectly chewy cookies, every time.
- Let cool completely on the baking sheets and enjoy thoroughly.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 158Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 170mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 2g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.