Total Preparation Time – About 25 Minutes
Time Spent Waiting – None (Chilling, Cooling, etc)
Cook Time – About 15 Minutes per Batch
Makes – About 48 Cookies
A couple of weeks ago, I was talking with someone about cooking vs. baking. The comment was made that cooking allows for more creativity than baking. While mostly true, baking does allow for some creativity and pushing boundaries. My favorite example is the Bacon Shortbread Cookie. While a shortbread cookie is a fairly standard recipe, replacing some of the fat with bacon grease and using chopped crispy bacon for your flavor is pushing the boundaries. In many recipes, there is room for trying new things.
The cranberry scone cookie is an example of trying new things based on past experience. For instance, the recipe called for chopped pecans. While pecans are nice, a toasted pecan has a distinctive flavor that stands out more than just a plain shelled pecan. Likewise, the recipe called for orange juice. I haven’t found that orange juice, in small quantities, brings a strong flavor to cookies, while orange zest gives a cookie a good punch of citrus. It’s all about asking yourself what you want the cookie to be, and how the ingredients can get you there. In this case, I was thinking of cranberry sauce and what goes into the sauce for Thanksgiving. I think the tweaks made a better overall cookie.
To start, take roughly a cup of shelled pecan parts and toss in about 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil. Make sure the pecan parts are lightly oiled. Spread the parts on a parchment lined pan and place in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, or until the pecans start to darken. Toasting pecans gives them a nice warm robust flavor. Let the pecans cool, then chop them to small/medium sized pieces. Set the chopped pecans aside in a bowl.
Next, zest one large orange. I use a microplane to zest the orange. You should get a 1 to 2 teaspoons of zest. After the orange is zested, juice the orange. I have a Kitchenaid hand juicer, which does a fair job of juicing. Set the zest and the juice aside in separate bowls.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (3 Cups All Purpose Flour, ¼ Teaspoons of Salt, 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder, ¼ Teaspoon of Baking Soda). Whisk together until the dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar (1 stick butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, ¾ cup of light brown sugar) until light and fluffy.
To the butter and sugar mixture, add ¼ cup of whole milk, 2 ½ tablespoons of orange juice, orange zest, and 1 egg. Mix until well blended.
Now, add the flour mixture and mix until the flour is moistened. Add 2 cups of dried cranberries (this is 2 packages of Ocean Spray lightly sweetened dried cranberries). Add chopped toasted pecans. Stir the cranberries and the pecans into the cookie dough, until well distributed. The dough will be a bit on the dry side and hold its form pretty well.
On a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, scoop out individual cookies about 1 level tablespoon in size. I use a tablespoon sized cookie scoop to measure out cookies. At this point, you can leave them as a rounded mound, or flatten the cookie out with the palm of your hand. I did cookies both ways, and they came out roughly the same in taste and texture. The cookies don’t spread much, so you can place them 1 – 2 inches apart on the sheet.
Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the bake. The cookies should be firm to the touch and slightly browned. Let cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.
And, there you have it, the Cranberry Scone Cookie. I have to admit that I was mildly surprised by the flavor and texture of the cookie, and how it reminded me of my scone recipe. I was talking with a friend that these might actually make a good biscuit for a Tea. Definitely one of my favorite cookies in the last couple of months.
I hope you enjoy,
Stand Mixer with Paddle attachment
Large Mixing Bowl
4 x Medium Bowl
Large Chef’s Knife
Tablespoon Sized Cookie Scoop
1/2 Cup of Softened Butter
3/4 Cup of Light Brown Sugar
1 Cup of Granulated Sugar
1/4 Cup of Whole Milk
2 1/2 Tablespoons of Orange Juice
1 – 2 Teaspoons of Orange Zest (One Orange)
1 Egg (at Room Temperature)
3 Cups of All Purpose Flour
1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
2 Cups Dried Cranberries (lightly sweetened)
1 Cup of Chopped Toasted Pecans
1. Whisk together dry ingredients Flour, Salt, Baking Powder, Baking Soda
2. Mix together Butter, Granulated Sugar, Brown Sugar until fluffy
3. Mix into Butter Mixture, Orange Juice, Orange Zest, Egg, and Milk
4. Mix dry and wet ingredients gradually, until uniform
5. Stir in Pecans and Cranberries until evenly distributed
6. Place 1 tablespoon scoops of dough on parchment lined baking pan
7. Optionally, flatten the individual cookies with the palm of your hand
8. Bake for 15 Minutes at 375 Degrees, until firm to touch
9. Let cool for 5 Minutes on pan, then transfer to cooling rack