Beginner Gourmet: Dried Cranberry, Toffee and Chocolate Chip Cookies

While in culinary school, I moonlighted at a cookie bakery where we made special cut-out cookies meticulously decorated with sugar dots (placed by tweezers), plus a variety of regular cookies. It’s safe to say that I know cookies extremely well. When I first started baking, I found it necessary to sample each dough and several of each cookie. (It was all for the customer’s sake, I swear.) This recipe is the cookie I miss baking the most. They’re sweet with a crunch from the toffee bits but are soft and chewy when baked right. The most important thing to keep in mind with cookies is to not over bake them. If you wait until the entire cookie is golden brown, they’re over baked and you could break a tooth. As a rule of thumb I wait until the edges are golden but the center is still light brown, then they’re good to go. Oh, and FYI: This dough also doubles as an amazing snack (for the customer’s sake, I swear).

Dried Cranberry, Toffee, Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 48 small cookies or 24 large cookies


3 sticks butter
1 c. + 2 tbs sugar
1 c. + 2 tbs light brown sugar
2 lg eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 c. old fashioned oats (not quick cooking or instant)
1 1/2 c. dried cranberries
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. toffee pieces

Preheat oven to 350. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a standing mixer cream the butter and both sugars together until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. All at once, add the rest of the ingredients and, at a low speed, mix until everything is incorporated. After taking the bowl off the stand mixer, use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is mixed in.

For regular sized cookies, scoop the dough into two tablespoon-sized balls and press down slightly. Bake for 12-14 minutes, turning the pan half way through.

For large cookies, use a 1/4 c scoop, press down slightly and bake for 18 minutes, turning the pan half way through.

Note: This recipe makes a lot of cookies so feel free to cut it in half. If you want to freeze some, allow cookies to cool completely after baking and keep in an a airtight container. When it’s time for dessert put the cookies in a preheated oven for a couple minutes.