Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Nov 15, 2011 04:41 PM

crispy spicy cookie with dried cranberries

Does such a thing exist? I have an image in my head of a thin, crisp cookie (probably a roll/chill/slice bake dough) with cinnamon, ginger, molasses, dried cranberries, maybe some nuts . . . Any recipe suggestions? I suppose I can also adapt one that uses raisins or dates. Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. This is one of my favorites Cookie Monster. If you're looking for a spicy cookie, you'll love this one. The dried cranberries might affect the texture of the cookie and make them chewier, it might be a good idea to start without them first so you have an idea about the crispness of the cookie. Don't omit anything even if you don't favor cloves because you shouldn't really taste the small amount it requires - it enhance the other spices. It's always a great thing when you've been able to convert a few who aren't into spiced cookies. The aroma is spectacular, even hours after they're baked.

    2 1/3 cups flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    2 teaspoons ground ginger
    1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
    1 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
    1/2 cup molasses
    1 large egg
    3 Tablespoons (or 1.75 ounces) crystallized ginger, finely minced
    sugar for rolling

    Whisk together in a bowl the flour, salt, baking soda, ground ginger, Chinese five spice powder, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.

    In the bowl of a mixer fixed with a paddle attachment, cream the butter for a few minutes until smooth. Add the brown sugar and molasses and mix to combine. Lower the speed to incorporate the egg and beat for another minute until blended. Blend in the crystallized ginger.

    Mix in the dry ingredients at the lowest speed being careful to just incorporate without over beating. At this point you can turn the dough over onto a surface, divide the dough in 2 balls and wrap each half in plastic. You can refrigerate for a couple of hours but it's better to refrigerate overnight and bake the following day. If you need the cookies right away you can freeze the dough for about 30 minutes to an hour before baking.

    Set one rack at the lower 3rd of the oven and the second rack at the upper third. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Fill a small bowl with some sugar for rolling. Form balls from the dough by the tablespoonful (approximately or you can go larger), roll in the sugar and place on the baking sheets as you go. Dip the bottom of a cup or glass in the sugar bowl and flatten each cookie to about 1/2 inch thick or slightly less. Bake for about 16 minutes, switching racks halfway in between. Cookies will be puffed, but will flatten as they cool. Wait a couple of minutes before removing the cookies onto a cooling rack. *If you like a crisper cookie add a minute or 2 to the overall baking time.

    I posted this one because I had a feeling you wanted more of a cookie than biscotti, I have one that requires pistachios and cranberries if that's what you're looking for.

    26 Replies
    1. re: lilgi

      I've got a ton of five spice needing to be used, and have been looking for recipes other than savory. Thanks, these are definitely on my list!

      Btw, please do post the biscotti recipe, I'm definitely interested. TY.

      1. re: bushwickgirl

        Bwg, this is the one that I make during the holidays:

        It is a pleasantly (just as the recipe says) 'chewier' biscotti and it has some butter, but the time element can be adjusted if you favor the traditional dryness/crispness characteristic of biscotti. I used Carol Field's recipe long ago which was excellent:
        but I have since replaced it with the one above.

        It's odd she didn't include anise seed which is easily remedied, but too many home bakers tend to omit it, maybe that's the reason?

        My tweaks for the epicurious one is that I use only salted pistachios. I let the cranberries swell in warm water for about an hour and pat dry with paper towels, chop both in smaller pieces. I omit the anise only because I go for a different flavor; 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in place of the anise and orange zest instead of lemon as I prefer the way these flavors synchronize with the pistachios and cranberries, especially for the holidays. These are the ones I gift in cello bags. Delicious using just the lemon and anise too.

        Please let me know which ones you decide on and if you make the ginger cookies above let me know how they turn out. I have to make the most conscious effort not to keep those cookies around.

        edit: btw forgot to mention I haven't tried the biscotti with the white chocolate yet, I make them plain.

        1. re: lilgi

          Agree on the cinnamon and orange zest with the nuts and cranberries, although I do like lemon & anise.

          I'll try the classic CF recipe, I like a drier crispy biscotti, first then the epi. The ginger cookies are scheduled for next week; I'll be sure to report back.

          Thanks again.

          1. re: bushwickgirl

            Wonderful! Let me know if you end up adding to Carol's (lemon and anise or orange and cinnamon). I'm curious since I haven't made them in years. I love lemon and anise too, but my hands tend to reach for the other combo for these during the holidays.

        1. re: cookie monster

          Just a suggestion, when you add the cranberries to the dough (along with the ginger at that point in time) it's probably best to keep the cranberries dried so that you don't add any additional moisture since you want to stay crisp. Might not be a bad idea to mince them if you can, and use sparingly at first just to see how much you can get away with without affecting the texture.

          1. re: lilgi

            Yes, I'm thinking that finely chopping the cranberries in the food processor may be a good idea.

            1. re: cookie monster

              lilgi's recipe sounds terrific, but just a thought if you want to amp up the spice level a bit - i'd probably add about 3/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp pepper.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                noooooooooooooo.... ;)

                eta: it really will affect the overall flavor, it's more about that, than the spices and the heat and there is a little heat from the 5 spice. I think better to tweak after trying them first.

                1. re: lilgi

                  ha! no disrespect darlin', as i said, they sound terrific as they are. i probably should have pointed out that i'm not really a fan of clove, so i'd replace it with cinnamon just to suit my tastes. and trust me on the pepper - you don't taste it, but it really works with those other spices. would i steer you wrong? ;)

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    As I said above in order to try this one you need the small bit of clove and I wouldn't omit it - then you will have a completely different cookie. And the 5 spice replaces the cinnamon - there is heat from the 5 spice (sometimes there's cinnamon in it, but I've never worked with a 5 spice version that didn't work well.)

                    1. re: lilgi

                      doh! i didn't even read your intro/lead-in, my eyes went straight to the ingredients. sorry, my brain's not processing too well these days...

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Np ghg! I hope I didn't sound bossy, but this is one that I'm very specific about, not at all like the biscotti discussed above that I change from time to time. If you're meh about the cloves then you might try it, but of course if you hate them you need a different cookie. Also, the replacements you made are in so many other recipes. So I encourage this way first, then tweak as you wish because the way the ingredients play with each other is what I find special.

                        1. re: lilgi

                          LOL! not bossy at all, and i completely understand...and if i'd had the good sense to read your introduction first, i probably would have just kept my mouth shut :)

        2. re: lilgi

          These sound wonderful! I think I'll try them this weekend.

          1. re: arashall

            I'm happy you're trying these arashall! Please do let me know how they turn out.

          2. re: lilgi

            lilgi, just wanted to follow up and let you know I used your recipe and the cookies came out great! i didn't monkey with the spices at all, just added some finely chopped dried cranberries and pecans, and I'm very pleased with the results. I may have slightly overbaked the first trays because I was going for crispy and my oven is temperamental, but I'm very pleased with the results. And my house smells amazing. Thanks again.

            1. re: cookie monster

              Cookiemonster, they look wonderful! Thanks for posting back, and forever glad you didn't play with the spices ;D

              1. re: lilgi

                sigh. i really stepped in it with that one, didn't i? ;)

                  1. re: lilgi

                    Absolutely. I just couldn't resist mentioning it.

                    1. re: cookie monster

                      How did you use the cranberries, did you process them, leave them whole, or just dice them into tiny pieces? I'd like to try them, I'll probably opt to leave them in for the same amount of time so they won't be as crisp. Also how much did you use?

                      1. re: lilgi

                        I processed them so they were very finely chopped. I didn't measure how much (or course), just kind of eyeballed it to add as much as possible without being so much that the cranberries would prevent the cookie dough from holding together, if that makes sense. 3/4 cup maybe?

          3. I made pistachio cranberry icebox cookies from epicurious. They aren't molassey - gingery - spicy as you mentioned. But I really like them and thought they were good. Also kind of holiday-ish with the cranberry and pistachio colors. It is a crisp refrigerator dough slice and bake cookie that has some cinnamon and orange zest in it. The dough log is rolled in coarse sugar for a nice decorative edge. I thought they were really good and pretty too. And really easy.

            Here's the recipe:


            1 Reply
            1. re: karykat

              Yes, I've made those previously. Delicious, but not as spicy as I'm looking for. Thanks for the suggestion though.

            2. Use a basic sugar cookie recipe and add freshly ground pepper and your dried cranberries.