White Chocolate Cranberry Almond Cookies

I love baking cookies during the holidays.  I make my traditional sugar cookies recipe that I have been making since I was a little girl.  We add in the some Ginger Molasses Cookies.  Sometimes I like to add in Pretzel M&M Hugs

This year I experimented with some of my favorite ingredients- Almonds, Cranberries, and White Chocolate.  It was a win in the kitchen.

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1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 t  vanilla extract (I used Mexican Vanilla)
2-1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 t baking soda
½ t salt
2 cups white chocolate morsels
1 cup sliced almonds
1 1/2 cup dried cranberries
8 oz  melting white chocolate (for drizzle)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.  
Using your mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla.  
Then add flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix well.  Now stir in almonds, 1 1/2 cup of white chocolate morsels, and 1 cup of dried cranberries.  
Drop rounded spoonfuls of dough, 1 1/2 inches apart, onto baking sheets.  Then take the extra white chocolate morsels and dried cranberries and add a few pieces on top to each cookie.  This will make your cookies have a great look of fullness of pieces.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.  Cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes and remove to wire racks to cool completely.  
Melt the melting while chocolate and drizzle over the cookies.  

Red Velvet White Chocolate Chips Cookies

On the mission to make several new treats this holiday season, this was a new one I attempted. Now, have you ever skipped a few steps in baking. It is usually not a wise decision. This recipes begins with a cake mix. I was not sure I was sold on this but it worked. I adapted the recipe a little to make it work for me. But you will see from my notes below that I would definitely create a different drizzle next time. The cookies were good but did not give me that total red velvet taste I love. I think the cream cheese drizzle would take care of that. If you make that change to the recipe, let me know! (and send a picture.) I also update this recipe once I do too. Enjoy the wonderful smells in your kitchen this season. 
Merry Christmas! -Amanda
                                                             

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                                  Red Velvet White Chocolate Chips Cookies

1 box Red Velvet cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
1 t baking powder
2 large eggs
1/3 cup + 2 T vegetable oil
1 t vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips (use another 1/2 cup to press in before baking)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 lb white almond bark

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Using a mixer, mix together the cake mix and baking powder. In a smaller bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, and vanilla together. Add the egg mixture to the cake mixture and stir to form a dough. This is the tricky part, you must make sure all the cake mix is dissolved and there are no “dry pockets.” The dough will be oily. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
Drop 9 rounded balls of dough, about 1 1/2 T of dough each, onto prepared baking sheet. Press in a a few more white chocolate chips on top of the cookie dough balls. This is completely for presentation. 
Bake each batch for 9 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle each cookie with confectioners’ sugar. Allow to cool completely on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Melt almond bark in microwave. Stirring every 30 seconds until completely melted. Drizzle melted almond bark over cookies. Allow to dry.

**Now- the next time I make these cookies, I will make a cream cheese drizzle for the cookies.
Something like this:
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 t vanilla extract
3 to 4 T milk
Beat cream cheese until very creamy. Beat in powdered sugar. Stir in vanilla. Add 3 tablespoons milk. Totally combine. Add more milk to get desired consistency for drizzling.