The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Light Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

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There are few things I can say with absolute certainty. In a world where things are so unsure and so uncertain, it’s hard to say anything with complete, 100% conviction. Well, there is one thing that is the God’s honest truth. It’s something that will never change, regardless of time, distance or life. And that is that the food blogging community is the best in the entire world. I’ve watched them rally together for a grieving widow, raise thousands of dollars for a cancer patient and just endlessly support one another, even if they’ve never spoken two words to each other. Food is something that brings so many people together, but it’s the food bloggers that take just a love for food and spread that to their community and their fellow bloggers. I’m constantly astounded by everyone’s generosity and incredible support. This was further represented by The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.

The amazing Lindsay and Julie coordinated this effort and I can’t thank them enough! It’s not as dire as giving money to someone struggling, but, in a way, it’s almost just as important. Even though shipping three boxes of cookies isn’t cheap, we all rallied anyway and did it, regardless of chance or circumstance. It’s the little things in life that can change you and make a grand impact. I received 3 incredible batches of cookies (all of which my husband ate ALL OF THEM, allowing me to only take one photo) and each cookie was incredible. Cooked to perfection and made with some amazing ingredients. In a life as uncertain as this, there’s nothing more comforting than a homemade cookie. So thank you  Chrysanthemum, Ginny and Jennifer for the amazing goods!

The lovely gingerbread I got!

PHEW. That was heavy. Can we talk my cookies now before I weep happy tears into the keyboard?

Choosing a cookie to make was hard. I wanted something delicious, yet healthy, festive and could easily be transported across the country. I also wanted something that I’ve never made before, naturally. As i perused my fridge for inspiration, I was immediately drawn to a bag of fresh cranberries. What’s more festive than cranberries? These beautiful tart little fruits are the symbol of the holiday season (in my life, at least) and are full of fiber and vitamin-c, which is a key cold and flu fighter! I should have had more of them since I’m currently battling a 101 degree fever. But alas, that’s for another day.

After I grabbed the cranberries, my mind starting churning with ideas. White chocolate and cranberry with oats? Or dark chocolate cranberry bars with decadent frosting. All sounded great but wasn’t hitting the money. Then, I stumbled upon a bag of chocolate chips (which surprisingly was not eaten by my husband) and a can of cocoa powder. Then, like a lightbulb, I had my cookie.

Light chocolate chip and cranberry cookies! Guys, they turned out SOOOOOOO GOOD. The cranberries added the perfect amount of tartness to the sweet, richness of the chocolate and, unintentionally, the cookies came out marbled! I think it’s because I only added a smidgen of chocolate powder and didn’t stir it with the utmost precision (my arms hurt). Each cookie came out a little marbled, making them that much better looking.

I’ll be honest. It took RESTRAINT not to eat all three dozen of them. But then again, we did eat about 3 dozen other cookies so thankfully I’m all cookied out. At least for this week. Next week when I’m home with my amazing mother who makes 12 dozen? I won’t exercise such restraint. That’s what New Years resolutions are for, right?

LIGHT CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY COOKIES

Yields: 3 dozen cookies
Prep time: About 15 minutes
Cook time: 8-12 minutes

Ingredients: 

  • 1/3 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
  • 1/3 cup of chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until creamy, about four minutes. Gradually beat in almond extract. In another bowl, sift the flour, salt, cocoa powder and baking soda; gradually add to butter mixture and mix well. Stir in cranberries and chocolate chips.
  3. Form teaspoon size balls and place them on the cookie sheet. Bake until fully cooked, about eight to 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before eating.
Nutritional information per cookie: 110 calories, 4 grams of fat, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein and 1 gram of fiber. 

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Comments

  1. Posted by Kiri W. on
    Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
    Oh wow, these are gorgeous, delicious looking cookies! Love that they are lightened up, too :)
    I loved the swap - it was my very first cookie swap ever, and so much fun!
  2. Posted by Lauren on
    Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
    How yummy! I love chocolate and cranberry-excellent mix :D
  3. Posted by Lea @ Healthy Coconut on
    Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
    Your cookies look great. It's unique in that I've never seen fresh cranberries used in a cookie recipe before (I usually use dried cranberries).

    Very festive looking and I bet it taste delicious too.
  4. Posted by Bake Your Day on
    Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
    I love the color contrast in these, lovely cookies! The swap was so fun!
  5. Posted by Jessica Trimble on
    Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
    Gingerbread is my favorite Christmas cookie! I'll have to try making these cranberry cookies, they sound so good.
  6. Posted by Grubarazzi on
    Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
    These are so pretty! I bet they taste as good as they look.
  7. Posted by Kelly Hunt on
    Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
    Yummy these look delicious!  And skinny, love it!!!
  8. Posted by Maggie Wescott on
    Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
    Yes, Food Bloggers and the community are amazing.  I am honored to be a part of it.  I love the photos of these cookies!  They are so unique and I bet they were absolutely delicious!  Congrats on a great recipe and successful swap!  I can't wait until next year to do it again!
  9. Posted by Ginny on
    Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
    So glad you liked them! I picked ginger snaps partly so they would last from FL to CA. :) 
  10. Posted by Mjskit on
    Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
    All of these great cookies are driving me nuts!  Chocolate and cranberries - how could I resist!?!
  11. Posted by Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. on
    Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
    Chocolate and cranberries is a great combo! And even better in a lightened up cookie!
  12. Posted by Julie on
    Wednesday, December 14th, 2011
    These were delicious!  And I'm so happy to find out they are healthier because I ate 6 of them!!!  Thank you so much!
    • Posted by claire on
      Wednesday, December 14th, 2011
      YAY!!
  13. Posted by TammyJo Eckhart, PhD on
    Wednesday, December 14th, 2011
    Another interesting cookie from our swap this year.  I seem to be the only person I've found who made bars instead.
  14. Posted by Nisrine M. on
    Friday, December 16th, 2011
    Chocolate and cranberry sound delicious together.
  15. Thursday, December 22nd, 2011
    Love the Cranberries and the healthy treat!
  16. Posted by Anonymous on
    Tuesday, December 27th, 2011
    I love how everyone made such a unique type of cookie!  All 3 of the batches I received were cookies I'd never heard of before, but thoroughly enjoyed!  These sounds so good, too =)