These infinitely versatile cookies master the balance of tart and sweet.
Cranberry-White Chocolate Cookies
Credit: William Dickey

Tart and bright, crimson cranberries are some of fall and winter's finest culinary jewels. Sauces, tarts, pies, and relishes are great ways to use a bounty of cranberries, but when it's time for holiday cookies, make some time (and leave room in the stomach) for some cranberry cookies. Whether it's a chewy oatmeal cranberry cookie or a cranberry-orange cookie that's rich but tart, we're big fans of taking advantage of cranberry season, in cookie form.

There are a few things to consider before you get out the parchment paper and start creaming the butter. If, for instance, you're making this recipe that pairs sweet white chocolate with dried cranberries, make sure that you start with sweetened, dried cranberries. Most dried cranberries will be sweetened, but double-check both your recipe and your cranberries, so that you don't end up with an unbalanced, too-tart cookie. If you're using fresh cranberries, most recipes will recommend that you either chop, food process, or blend them. Not only will this keep you from a too-moist (read: soggy) cookie, but it will ensure that the texture of your cookies is even—no one wants a big bite of tart without enough sweetness to balance it out.

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Make sure to cool on a wire rack, to keep the bottoms from continuing to cook on the pan (it sure would be a shame to end up with, well, tough cookies). Finally, if you are able, make sure to let the cookies cool all the way before biting in. And get creative! Many recipes that call for dried fruit such as raisins or cherries can be altered to use cranberries instead. We're pretty fond of these cookies, and we think they'll be even better with cranberries. Oh, and serve with plenty of cold milk.