Cranberry, White Chocolate, & Orange Drop Cookies

Here they are! The cookies that were so good they inspired a cake!

Cranberry, White Chocolate & Orange Drop Cookies

I should have known I had something special with these fellas when I took them into work with some other desserts leftover from Thanksgiving and they were the first things finished and the only things talked about.

Cranberry, White Chocolate & Orange Drop Cookies

Make them for yourself and you’ll have the same results, I’m sure! A bit less time intensive than the cake (and easier to give too!) these cranberry white chocolate and orange cookies are like the Christmas version of the classic chocolate chip.

Cranberry, White Chocolate & Orange Drop Cookies

Cranberry White Chocolate Orange Drop Cookies

2 cups flour

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. baking powder

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed

the zest of one orange

12 TBSP (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

½ cup dried cranberries, chopped

½ cup white chocolate chips

Whisk together the flour, salt, soda, and powder. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the sugars, butter, and zest until light and fluffy, about five minutes. Scrap down the bowl before stirring in the eggs and vanilla until combined.

In three batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet, followed by the cranberries and chips.

Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to bake preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment.

Using a medium cookie scoop (2 oz.), scoop out dough and roll into balls. Place on prepared baking sheets and bake in preheated oven for 14 – 17 minutes, until lightly golden brown on the edges. Remove to rack to cool.

Cookies can be stored for up to five days in air tight container.

*You can prescoop this dough and freeze the balls until ready to bake – just add an additional minute or two to bake time.

Grandma Green’s Cutout Cookies

It’s here! It’s here! Cookie Week has begun!

Classic Cutout Cookies

And I can’t think of a better way to start it off than with a tried and true classic – the cutout cookie. There isn’t a more quintessentially Christmas-y cookie out there, in my opinion.

Classic Cutout Cookies

And these cutouts? Oh, they’re something special. First of all, they’re a recipe that’s been passed down through the family. Tried and true and trusted. And for good reason! The recipe is simple and essentially fool-proof. Second, it’s gonna make a lot of dough. And I mean a. lot. Dozens of dozens of cookies. Depending on the size of your cutters you could be looking at 150 – 200 cookies. Now that’s a problem I enjoy having. Lastly, they’re delicious! I find that a lot of cutouts sacrifice flavor for function. Sure, they maintain they’re perfect shape, but they taste like cardboard…with less flavor. I’ll take a slightly soft, sweet, and chewy cookie that’s a bit soft on the edges over a cardboard cutout any day.

Who’s with me?

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Thursday Things

  1. Scrolling through old photos I found this one I took of some vintage pins at the flea market this summer. I’d wear any of them.
  2. I’ve been watching an abundance of movies lately. Before this last month I hadn’t been to the movie theater since July (and before that it had been the previous December!), and now I’ve been to four movies in as many weeks. The latest was Murder On The Orient Express. It was fantastic! Gorgeous cinematography and styling. I felt like I should’ve clapped at the end, it felt like watching a play! I was totally engrossed!
  3. I’m nearly done Christmas shopping. Only a little behind schedule. I’m trying to channel Leslie Knope and her thoughtfulness as she once said, “giving gifts is like a sport to me.”
  4. Naturally, that means rewatching Parks and Rec.
  5. It’s officially cold, cold here. And boy was I underestimating my preparedness for it! Morning walks with Edgar are brisk to say the least – tis the season for chapped cheeks! Extra moisturizing is essential. I’ve been flying through this lotion.
  6. When I saw Mandy last week not only did she take the cutest stinking photos of Edgar and I – but she gave me the most gorgeous watercolor paintings of vintage Christmas trees. And a mug that matches! This girl gets me.
  7. How far would you drive for a concert? I’ve done six hours before. And I’m thinking of doing it again. I believe it would be well worth it.

Melba’s Lasagna (& intuition)

Apparently your stomach has more nerve endings than your spinal chord. When people talk about “gut feelings” or “butterflies” or a “sinking feeling” – they’re actually talking about those nerve endings.

Melba's Lasagna

I think a mom’s stomach has even more. And they’re far more sensitive than a regular human’s.

At least, that’s how my mom is. For months before I decided to move back to Wisconsin, she would drop suggestions for my return, consistently and constantly. She knew her child wasn’t happy, she could feel it in her gut.

“You know…you can always move back home…”

“Mom. No. I’m fine.”

Round and round we went. Until my brain finally caught up to her gut, and I came home. Even after my return to Wisconsin I was unsettled, unsure. She could tell. She offered the spare room to me time and time again. Eventually, I conceded. And I’ve been happier at home with her than I would’ve been willing to admit.

My mom is a special lady. Friends in South Carolina thought I was making her up when I would describe her. The penchant for tie-dye, the affection for unicorns, the unhealthy reliance on Mountain Dew. While I didn’t inherit any of those traits, I did get her fierce independence (some would say stubbornness) and sensitive heart. As I get older, and my parents do too, I see them more as people and realize the affect they’ve had on me (for better or for worse).

Melba's Lasagna

My mom is an original – take her or leave her, she’s not going to conform to what other’s think she should be or do or say. This quality is rarified in people, women especially. To be honest, when I was little all I wanted was a mom who looked like all the other moms, who acted like all the other moms. One who didn’t have purple hair or her head half-shaved, one who wore khakis instead of Crocs, one who hired a repairman instead of buying a roll of duct tape. It took me a long time to appreciate who she was, how she was. It took me even longer to realize she was teaching me a very valuable lesson – about being myself, no matter what. About pursuing my happiness, my fulfillment, no matter what. That being comfortable in my own skin was more important than being how others thought I should be.

I’m grateful for that lesson, even if it took me a long time to learn it. My gut gets more attention, its voice is louder. And it sounds a little bit like my momma.Read More »

Cranberry Orange Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream (& practice)

December. How are we here already?

Cranberry Orange Layer Cake with White Chocolate Frosting

I’ll wax far more poetically about the blur of 2017 at a later date, when I’ve recovered from the shock that is this month.

There are positives to this month, no doubt. The official beginning of winter, the Christmas season, birthdays, birthdays, and more birthdays.

Cranberry Orange Layer Cake with White Chocolate Frosting

There are five birthdays of special import this month.

That’s a lot of cake.

Cranberry Orange Layer Cake with White Chocolate Frosting

I’m getting a head start by practicing. Baking, frosting, photographing. It all needs work. Messing up my mom’s birthday cake to the point of disrepair and a deluge of tears kinda hammered that point home.

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