Chewy Chocolate Cookies with Cranberries
Cookie season is in full swing! If you’re looking for a sweet to satisfy the chocolate lovers in your life, these Chewy Chocolate Cookies with Cranberries are sure to be a hit.
Today’s cookie recipe is an easy holiday twist on these incredible Triple Chip Chocolate Cookies. Plump dried cranberries and a touch of ground cinnamon add a burst of tartness and warmth to each bite.
These cookies bake up extra chewy with slightly crisp edges. No dough chilling required. Let’s get baking!
Why You’ll Love These Chocolate Cookies:
- Full of Chocolate Flavor – made with cocoa powder and loaded with semisweet chocolate chips, these cookies do not skimp on chocolate flavor. They are a true chocolate lover’s cookie.
- Festive and Beautiful – the addition of colorful, tart cranberries make these cookies particularly fitting for the holidays.
- Extra Chewy – with slightly crisp edges and extra chewy centers, this recipe yields the best (dare I say, ideal?) cookie texture.
- No Chilling Required – similar to these orange pistachio chocolate chunk cookies, this dough does not require chilling. The cookies can be scooped and baked immediately.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- DRIED CRANBERRIES: prior to making the cookie dough, the dried cranberries are rehydrated in hot water for a minimum of 1 hour (or overnight) – see full instructions below. It plumps and softens the cranberries considerably, improving their texture.
- COCOA POWDER: you’ll need Dutch-process or unsweetened cocoa powder for this recipe. Both options work for this dough. Higher quality cocoa will always yield better chocolate flavor in baked goods, so don’t skimp on this ingredient!
- ALL PURPOSE FLOUR: my go-to baking brands are King Arthur or Bob’s Red Mill brand.
- BAKING SODA: for leavening.
- SALT: balance and flavor If you enjoy saltier cookies, top the dough with a sprinkle of Maldon salt prior to baking!
- GROUND CINNAMON: for a touch of spice and warmth. Feel free to leave this optional ingredient out if you prefer.
- UNSALTED BUTTER: like most cookie doughs, this recipe requires softened room temperature butter to ensure proper creaming. If you’re short on time, here’s a quick tip on how to soften butter quickly!
- BROWN SUGAR + GRANULATED SUGAR : this recipe uses dark brown sugar and granulated sugar to achieve a perfect chewy texture with slightly crisp edges.
- SEMISWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS: for added chocolate flavor, we’ll add lots of semisweet chocolate chips! If you prefer less sweet cookies, substitute bittersweet chocolate chips.
How to Rehydrate Dried Cranberries:
Place the dried cranberries in a medium bowl. Cover with boiling water and allow to sit for at least 1 hour or overnight, if you prefer, or until very plump. Before using, drain well, discarding the soaking liquid.
Can I Use Other Soaking Liquids? This recipe was tested with alternate liquids (eg. alcohol, such as Grand Marnier). I did not personally detect the flavor difference in this particular cookie due to the strong chocolate flavor. However, this is a great option for other cookies or baked goods that use dried fruit, such as fruit cake.
Presentation Tip: How to Make Extra Pretty Cookies
To show off the ingredients and up the presentation factor, reserve a portion of rehydrated cranberries and chocolate chips and press into the tops of the (still-warm) cookies just after baking.
How to Store and Freeze:
- Storage Instructions: Once the cookies have baked and cooled fully, store in an airtight container, between layers of parchment, at room temperature for up to a week or more. They can also be stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- Freezing Cookie Dough: Scoop the dough into balls and set apart from one another on a lined baking tray. Set in the freezer for 1 hour. Once the cookies are chilled and solid, transfer to a large Ziplock bag, squeezing out any excess air. Freeze for up to 3 months. Bake from frozen, adding an additional minute or two to the total baking time.
Other Holiday Cookies to Try:
- Almond Crescent Cookies – also known as Kipferls, these extra buttery cookies are an all-time personal favorite!
- Orange Pistachio Chocolate Chunk Cookies – an extra flavorful, fragrant riff on a classic chocolate chunk cookie.
- Lebkuchen Cookies – these classic German spiced cookies are a holiday staple.
- Almond Sugar Cut-Out Cookies – infused with orange zest and almond extract, these cut-out sugar cookies are more time-intensive, but so fun to decorate!
Chewy Chocolate Cookies with Cranberries
- 1¼ cups (200g) dried cranberries rehydrated (see instructions)
- 2⅓ cup (280g) unbleached all purpose flour
- ¾ cup (75g) Dutch-process or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon optional
- 1 cup (1/2 lb; 225g) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (200g) packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 heaping cup (200g) semisweet chocolate chips plus more for finishing
- Soak the Cranberries: Place the dried cranberries in a medium bowl. Cover with boiling water and allow to sit for at least 1 hour or overnight, if you prefer, or until very plump. Before using, drain well, discarding the soaking liquid.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) with a rack in the center position. Line a half sheet pan with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon, if using. Set aside.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar. Beat over medium speed until creamy and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
- Gradually add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just absorbed, scraping down the bowl with a spatula. Over low speed, add the rehydrated (drained) cranberries and chocolate chips – reserving a small portion of each for topping after baking – and mix until just incorporated.
- Using a spoon or scoop, scoop the cookie dough (roughly 2 tablespoons per cookie) onto the lined sheet pan, spacing the cookies about two inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until the cookies are set but still soft in the center. Do not overbake. While the cookies are warm, gently press a few extra chocolate chips and reserved cranberries into the tops for presentation. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 3 to 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely. Once the baking sheet has cooled, repeat with the remaining dough.Baking Note: Not all of the dough will fit on a half sheet pan – if you are baking in batches, allow the half sheet pan to cool completely between rounds or use two half sheet pans, setting on the lower and upper third racks of the oven. Rotate and swap the pans halfway through baking.
- Storage Tips: Store the cookes in an airtight container, between layers of parchment, at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- How to Freeze Cookie Dough: Scoop the dough into balls and set apart from one another on a lined baking tray. Set in the freezer for 1 hour. Once the cookies are chilled and solid, transfer to a large Ziplock bag, squeezing out any excess air. Freeze for up to 3 months. Bake from frozen, adding an additional minute or two to the total baking time.