I am stepping up my cookie game today with a recipe from Sweet. Seriously, these have such a complex flavor that they are utterly addictive. I can usually resist having more than one cookie, but I ate two of these before I was done photographing them. What can I say? Something about the combination of roasted almonds, tart cranberries, and white chocolate makes these cookies irresistible on a winter day.
I was lucky enough to get a truckload of cookbooks for Christmas this year (thanks to my family, who know me so well!). I always get inspired by what other, better bakers create, and I can’t wait to bake my way through all of them in the new year. The one book that I cracked immediately, before everyone had even finished opening their gifts, was Sweet, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh. I know this book has been all over “best of” lists, and I’ve seen so many mouth-watering photos of recipes from it that I couldn’t help myself from paging through and drooling right away. There are so, so many delicious recipes to choose from in the book, but these cranberry, oat and white chocolate cookies made with roasted almonds called right to my heart, and I had to make them first.
In the book, these are called biscuits. In Britain, ‘biscuit’ means a crisp cookie, but I thought that I’d call these cookies, both because I didn’t want to confuse my American readers too much, and because they tick off every item on my ideal cookie checklist: sweet but not too sweet, crispy on the edges, and with spikes of flavor in every bite. These are crispier than your average cookie, but I love their crunch. The flavor here comes from the combination of tart dried cranberries and roasted almonds. Combined with just a touch of sugar and the crunch of rolled oats, every bite of these cookies is complex and delicious. And the white chocolate glaze on top gives them sweetness and richness, making one of these cookies perfect as a snack or as a dessert.
These also keep well for several days in an airtight container, so we were able to snack on these all through our long winter break, where the temperatures barely made it above zero and the snow kept falling. They were the perfect snowed-in treat, and I am missing them now that we are back to our regular work and school routine. I guess I’ll just have to make another batch so that I can recapture my carefree, schedule-free vacation self, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
To start, preheat your oven to 350°F. While it preheats, prep the cranberries by chopping them roughly, putting them in a small bowl, and pouring 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons of orange juice over them. You’re going to need orange zest later in the recipe, so you could use the juice from the orange you’re zesting. Once the oven is ready, spread 1 cup of whole, skin-on almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and roast them for 10 minutes. Once they’re done and cool enough to touch, chop them into small pieces (aim for the size of the dried cranberries), then put them in a bowl with the all-purpose and whole wheat flours and stir them together. Increase your oven temperature to 375°F.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1 cup of room temperature unsalted butter with ½ cup of sugar and the finely grated zest of 1 orange. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is combined, light, and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Turn off the mixer and pour in the flour mixture. Turn the mixer back on to low speed and mix until everything is just combined. Add the cranberries and orange juice and stir until combined. Get out two baking sheets and cover them in parchment paper.
Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured coutertop and divide it in half. Set half aside, and roll the other half out with a floured rolling pin. The mixture may stick to the pin in places; if that happens, scrape it back into the dough and add a little more flour to the rolling pin and on top of the dough. Roll the dough out carefully until it is about ¼” thick. Use a 3” biscuit or cookie cutter to cut out circles and place them on the baking sheet. These won’t spread much in the oven, so you can space them fairly close together. Gather the scraps and set them aside. Roll out the second half of the dough and repeat the rolling and cutting process. Combine all of the scraps together and roll this out as well, getting as many circles as you can. I got 28 total.
Bake the cookies for 18-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until the cookies are lightly colored all over. Let them cool on the cookie sheets completely.
While the cookies cool, make the white chocolate glaze. Set a small saucepan with a few inches of water in it over high heat, and bring it to a simmer. Roughly chop the white chocolate and put it in a medium heat-safe bowl, then set this over the simmering water. Make sure that the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Let the chocolate melt, stirring it every minute or so. When it’s completely melted, remove it from the heat. Once the cookies are cool, you can use the back of a small spoon to spread the glaze over the tops, or you could dip the cookies in for a half-covered, half-bare look, or you could dip a spoon into the chocolate and then drizzle it over the cookies. Whichever way you choose, the white chocolate will pair beautifully with the cranberries and roasted almonds to make a crunchy, roast-y, sweet delight of a cookie.
- 1 cup whole almonds, skin on
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 1 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
- ½ cup sugar
- Finely grated zest of 1 large orange (about 1 tablespoon)
- ¾ cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons orange juice
- 8 oz white chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a small bowl, soak the dried cranberries in the orange juice while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
- Spread the whole almonds out on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. Once they’ve cooled enough to handle, transfer them to a cutting board and chop them into small pieces.
- In a large bowl, add the chopped nuts, all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and salt. Mix the ingredients together and set the bowl aside.
- Increase the oven temperature to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and orange zest on medium speed for 2 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Turn off the mixture and add the flour mixture, then beat on low speed until just combined. Add the cranberries and orange juice and mix on low until just combined.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop and sprinkle flour all over a rolling pin. Cut the dough in half, then roll one half of it out until it is roughly ¼ inch tall. Use a 3 inch cookie or biscuit cutter to cut the dough into rounds and place them on the baking sheets. Save the extra dough.
- Repeat with the second half of the dough, then combine all of the scraps and re-roll this dough out to ¼ inch and cut as many cookies out of it as you can. I ended up with 28 cookies.
- Bake both sheets of cookies for 18-20 minutes, rotating the sheets about halfway through, until the cookies are lightly colored all over. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the sheets until completely cool.
- While the cookies cool, make the white chocolate glaze. Roughly chop the white chocolate and place it in a medium heat proof bowl. Heat a small saucepan with a few inches of water until the water is simmering, then place the bowl on top of it, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir the chocolate occasionally until it is completely melted.
- Once the cookies are cool, you can use the back of a small spoon to coat their tops with the white chocolate, or you can dip them in the chocolate. You could also use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate over the cookies, depending on how much chocolate you want on them. Let the white chocolate harden, which will take about an hour.
- These cookies will keep well in an airtight container for several days.