Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Test Kitchen Tuesdays

Dark Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

The inspiration for these cookies was the left over bag of fresh cranberries from my Christmas baking and doing something for Test Kitchen Tuesday.  I searched the internet for a fresh cranberry recipe and came upon a similar recipe to this.  I doctored it to accommodate the ingredients I had in my pantry and added the chocolate drizzle.  I added the dark chocolate chunks and drizzle because I think it goes great with both the cranberries and orange flavor.  I had plenty of dark chocolate on hand after my post holiday trip to Walmart, I found bags of Hershey’s Minis for $1.24 each.  I cleared the shelf.  Hey, it’s cheaper than buying bags of chocolate chips!  I thought that giving the dark chocolate bars a rustic chop was visually appropriate for these cookies.  For my learning experience for Test Kitchen Tuesday, I decided to melt chocolate in a double boiler and drizzle it on the finished product.  It may sound simple, but I had never done it!

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup splenda
1 egg
Zest of one orange
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped cranberries
1 cup dark chocolate piece

Orange Frosting:
Zest of ½ an orange
2-3 tablespoons orange juice
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

Chocolate Drizzle
1 cup dark chocolate
2 tablespoons shortenting

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

2.  Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.

3.  In a large bowl, cream the butter, splenda and brown sugar. Beat in the egg until blended. Mix in 1 teaspoon orange zest, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons orange juice (I used fresh squeezed right out of the orange I just zested)

4.  Stir the flour from above into the butter/sugar mixture. Gently fold in cranberries and chocolate. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Note:  Chopped cranberries?  How the hell do you accomplish that?  It’s like eating soup with a fork.  I do not own a food processor so I tossed the cranberries in the blender.  I pulsed a few times until most of the cranberries were broken up.  Do not make cranberry mush.  I was concerned that the few berries that did not get broken up would not bake fully, but they did.

5.  Bake for 12 minutes, until the edges start to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes on the cookie sheets. Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool.

6.  In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 teaspoon orange zest, 2-3 tablespoons orange juice and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread on top of the cookies when they are completely cool.
7.  In a double boiler, melt dark chocolate and shortening together.  When completely melted drizzle over frosted cookies.  Do not burn chocolate and absolutely make sure that the top pan in the double boiler is COMPLETELY dry.  Introducing water into melting chocolate can make it seize.

These cookies came out great!  My very picky Red thought they were great and ate quite a few!  I made 1/2 0f the batch with orange frosting and 1/2 with out.  He preferred the frosted ones, I thought they were too sweet.  They were one of the cakey-est cookies I've ever eaten.  

I hope you all enjoy, I think these will certainly become a part of my recipe box.


  1. I like cranberries and I love chocolate. These sound yummy.

  2. These cookies are such an interesting combination of ingredients, all of which I love! Found you on the Tasty Tuesday Blog Hop. We have a Wednesday Blog Hop of our own on Ducks 'n a Row...please feel free to stop by and add your link! :)