Winter has arrived in Boulder! With a blustery overnight snow storm arctic temperatures have settled in and brought us to chilly single digits promised for the next week. Fireplaces are blazing. Everyone is wrapped in cozy winter togs to keep warm. It’s a perfect time to get the holiday cookie baking going!
For a long time I’ve suggested baking is closer to chemistry than it is to cooking. There is a fine balance between leavening ingredients, the effects of eggs, and in my case gluten-free ingredients AND altitude. I had a vision for Cranberry White Chocolate Pecan cookies and could imagine the perfect texture but tried many combinations of baking powder, baking soda, multiple eggs, more flour, less flour before I landed on perfection. What emerged was a tantalizing cookie with just the right amount of cakiness and chewiness so it stands tall and delivers the perfect bite chock full of the star ingredients. I used a proven trick I always do when making cookies with raisins in them; I soaked the dried cranberries in the eggs and vanilla which plump them a bit and infuse some vanilla flavor as well.
Though I have core gluten-free flour mixes I use, and use them because they are most similar to all purpose flour not influencing the overall taste of the recipe, this recipe was one in which I wanted some flavor from the flour. I liked the idea of an oatmeal cookie but did not want the texture of the oats. I used gluten-free Oat Flour which lends a rustic, homey flavor to the overall cookie and offers enough structure that adding gums is not necessary. I don’t love adding Xanthan or Guar Gum to gluten-free baked goods because I can always tell they are there. Oat flour offers a beautiful option to add some sweetness and structure to your gluten-free recipes with no fuss.
A perfect holiday cookie, or delicious treat anytime with seasonal dried cranberries, white chocolate and pecans. This rustic cookie is gluten-free made with tasty oat flour and a perfect balance between a cakey and chewy cookie chock full of the star ingredients.
A little secret to make the cranberries a fabulous consistency: soaking them first in the eggs and vanilla!
- ¾ cup Dried Sweetened Cranberries (I prefer apple juice sweetened)
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 Eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 stick Unsalted Butter, softened
- ½ cup granulated Sugar
- ¼ cup Light Brown Sugar
- 1 ¾ cup Oat Flour (gluten-free if gluten intolerant)
- ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ½ teaspoon ground Cinnamon
- ½ cup Pecan Halves, rough chopped
- 1 cup White Chocolate*
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the cranberries, eggs and vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl, cream the butter. Add the granulated and brown sugar and cream together.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine the oat flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
- With the mixer running on low, pour in the dry ingredients and fully mix together (the mixture will be dry).
- Pour in the cranberry-egg mixture and mix until fully combined. Mix in the pecans and white chocolate just until incorporated; do not over mix.
- Place the dough, covered with plastic wrap into the refrigerator for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a small dining spoon, scoop a spoonful onto a silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet, form loosely into a ball shape (do not overwork the dough).
- Bake for 13 minutes or until the bottom begins to turn dark golden brown. Remove from oven, allow to sit on cookie sheet for 5 minutes. Remove and let cool fully on a cooling rack.
*instead of white chocolate chips, I rough chopped a 3.5 ounce Green & Black's Organic White Chocolate bar. The chocolate is made with Madagascar vanilla flavoring it to be more deep and natural. The rough chopping gives a more rustic quality to the chocolate as well.