Friday, November 10, 2017

White Chocolate Cranberry Almond Cookie Cups

It’s not quite Christmas season yet, but these cookies are a step closer to Christmas baking. I had planned to make different cookies this week, but time got away from me and the cookies that I was going to make required refrigeration, and that just wasn’t in the cards. Thankfully, I realized that I wasn’t going to have time to make cookies requiring refrigeration, so I was able to look at other recipes that I had saved and picked these cookies. Yes, they were in my Christmas cookie folder, but it’s pretty close, right?

Having a well-stocked cupboard in this case was in my favor, as I had nearly all of the ingredients. These cookies called for orange juice and zest. I didn’t have that, but one of my friends at work doesn’t like orange, so I would have substituted for that anyway. I ended up soaking the dried cranberries in Amaretto and adding almond extract. My dried cranberries seemed extra dry, so soaking them in alcohol helps rejuvenate them. You could use an orange instead of the almond flavorings. You could also use orange liqueur. You have lots of options.

This makes 4 dozen cookies, so unless you are having an event where you need lots of cookies, you may want to make a half recipe. I was able to bake all of the cookies at once, as I have lots of mini muffin pans! They cool quickly, so from start to frosted finish, they take little more than an hour. I really like the combination of white chocolate and cranberry. These are fairly sweet, as the white chocolate is sweet, but all of the flavors come together to make a very nice cookie.

White Chocolate Cranberry Almond Cookie Cups
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon Amaretto
3/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon almond extract
1-1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
11 ounces white chocolate chips

3/4 cup butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon almond extract
2-3 tablespoons milk

In a small bowl, combine the dried cranberries and Amaretto; set aside. Allow to sit for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray mini muffin tins with nonstick spray.

In a large mixer bowl, combine the melted butter, sugar and brown sugar. Mix on medium until smooth. Add in eggs, vanilla, and almond extract and mix on medium until combined. Add in the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring on low until the dough almost comes together. Add the white chocolate chips and the cranberry/Amaretto mixture and stir until the dough comes together.

Scoop about 1 tablespoon of dough into each mini muffin cup. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool the cookies in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Once the cookies are cool, make the frosting. In a large mixer bowl, beat the softened butter on medium until light. Add the powdered sugar, almond extract, and 2 tablespoons milk and mix on medium until smooth. If too thick, stir in additional milk. Pipe the frosting on top of the cooled cookies. Finish with colored sprinkles.

Recipe from Shugary Sweets