An unexpected flavor combination that is quite lovely. Cookbook author Nancy Baggett reports that these cookies always receive compliments and are added to the repertoire of almost everybody who tries them.
The cookies are on the tender, slightly crumbly side, so they are not suitable for holiday shipping. They can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, or frozen, well wrapped and un-iced, for up to 2 months.
Servings: 35 - 40 cookies
- For the cookies
- 1 2/3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fined grated orange zest
- 1 large egg
- 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) coarsely chopped pecans
- 1 1/2 cups (7 ounces) chopped dried sweetened cranberries
- 1 1/4 cups (7 ounces) white chocolate morsels
- 1/2 cup chopped cranberries
- For the icing
- 1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 to 4 teaspoons warm water
Center a rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Lightly grease several large baking sheets, or coat with nonstick spray oil.
For the cookies: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer on medium speed, beat the butter several minutes, until lightened. Add the brown sugar and orange zest. Beat for about 2 minutes, until well combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat for 1 1/2 minutes, until very light and fluffy. Using either a spatula or the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in increments, until smoothly incorporated. Add the pecans, dried cranberries, white chocolate morsels and chopped cranberries, stirring until evenly distributed.
Drop the dough by heaping tablespoonfuls, spaced about 2 1/2 inches apart, onto the baking sheets. Bake the cookies, 1 sheet at a time, for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly tinged with brown all over and just firm when pressed in the center; rotate the sheet from front to back halfway through the baking. Cool the cookies on the sheet for about 3 minutes, then carefully transfer them to a wire rack set over sheets of waxed paper (the cookies will still be very tender). Cool completely.
For the icing: In a medium bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract with enough water to yield a slightly runny icing. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a fine tip, or use a spoon, to immediately drizzle the icing in very fine lines over the cookies until they are lightly decorated. Let them stand until the icing sets, at least 1 hour.
Adapted from "The All-American Cookie Book," by Nancy Baggett (Houghton Mifflin, 2001).
Tested by Randy Richter.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.