I grew up baking cookies with my mother and grandmother, and when my son was growing up, we baked cookies frequently. When he was home for a weekend while in college, he would often ask to bake cookies. We always made chocolate chip cookies. He used to think it was funny to see people buying cookies at the store. "You don't BUY cookies," he used to say, "you bake them yourself. "
After a while I got bored of plain semi-sweet chocolate chip cookies, and started experimenting. Over the next few days, I will post my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Variations for "Adults."
Here are my son's favorites, White Chocolate Chip Cookies with Dried Cranberries and Peanuts. I use roasted peanuts that are lightly salted. I don't even chop them. I use a bar of good quality white chocolate that I chop by hand. I don't like the flavor of so-called "white chips." Since he is older, I make these cookies quite large.
White Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cranberries and Peanuts*
1 cup coarsely chopped peanuts
1-1/2 cups cake flour
¾ teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
9 Tablespoons butter-flavored shortening
1 cup minus 1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries
Nonstick cooking spray
1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl.
3. Using an electric mixer, cream fat and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the grated orange rind, the egg and beat thoroughly. Beat in the vanilla. On low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined. Scrape down the sides once with a rubber spatula. Add the peanuts, dried cranberries and chocolate chips. Beat 5 seconds on low. Use the rubber spatula to finish mixing in well.
4. Spray cookie sheets lightly with nonstick cooking spray (or use a silicone baking sheet). With tablespoon or ice cream food scoop (I use a #20, about 2” diameter), drop slightly heaped tablespoons of batter about 2 inches apart onto the greased sheets. Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the sheet on a cooling rack for 3 minutes, then remove the cookies to a rack to cool completely.
Makes about 2-1/2 dozen "ordinary" sized cookies, about 18 "big" cookies.
*My son likes puffy cookies, that's why these are made with butter-flavored shortening instead of real butter, and cake flour instead of ordinary white flour. For examples of Thin, Puffy & Chewy cookies, check out Alton Brown's variations.