Cranberry Almond Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Buttery cranberry almond cookies stuffed with chocolate chunks and sprinkled with sea salt.

Cranberry, Chocolate, Almond and Sea Salt Cookies

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!  I shared these cookies over at Tastes of Lizzy T’s  last Friday.  That day I was busy making the cake and cupcakes for my brother-in-law’s wedding, so I ran out of time to share them here.  It was a beautiful day for the happy couple.  The wedding was at a farm and they grow all the food right there which is wonderful,  especially for foodies like me!

{Full disclosure:  I did not grow any of the ingredients for the cake.}

Better late than never though, because this cookie recipe is one you don’t want to miss!  My husband is still talking about them, even though they are long gone.  Big, chewy and full of cranberries, almonds and chocolate chunks, these cookies are totally satisfying.  A little sea salt sprinkled on top helps to bring out all those flavors.

So head on over to check out the recipe, or pin and save for those holiday cookie swaps that are just around the corner!

Cranberry, Chocolate, Almond and Sea Salt Cookies Cranberry, Chocolate, Almond and Sea Salt Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookie Tarts with Vanilla Buttercream Filling

Adorable mini tarts made with chocolate chip cookie dough, then filled with a sweet vanilla buttercream.  Adorable mini tarts made with chocolate chip cookie dough, then filled with a sweet vanilla buttercream.

What are you up to this long weekend?  We will be spending some time with our family in York Beach, Maine.  We love it up there, but have you ever tried to go swimming in Maine in May?  Let me tell you, it is like jumping into a bucket of ice cubes.  But I did it when I was a kid, and my kids do it now.  In fact the beach is always full of people jumping in, but I’ve gotten wimpy as I got older and can’t go in farther than my ankles.  After a long hot summer, sometimes the last week of August the water is somewhat bearable.

But  you could probably convince me to go into the water, if you promised me one of these tarts when I got out 😉

Adorable mini tarts made with chocolate chip cookie dough, then filled with a sweet vanilla buttercream.

A thick chocolate chip cookie tart base is baked until sturdy enough to hold a mile high swirl of homemade vanilla buttercream.  Tastes a bit like cookie and a bit like cake.  This recipe has been in the back of my mind since I made the sugar cookie cups last fall.  Instead of doing the same thing making little cups, I saw my mini tart pans in the closet and decided to give it a try.  Although the tarts are a pretty good size, they can definitely be shared!

While they are baking, the tarts will puff up.  It will look as if they won’t have a traditional tart shape with an indent.  As soon as you remove them from the oven, the middle of the tart will sink yet the sides will stay up.  In order for this to happen, the dough needs to chill in the tart pans for at least an hour  before baking.  They can chill as long as overnight which is perfect for busy schedules.

Adorable mini tarts made with chocolate chip cookie dough, then filled with a sweet vanilla buttercream.

Adorable mini tarts made with chocolate chip cookie dough, then filled with a sweet vanilla buttercream.

The light and fluffy vanilla buttercream can only be piped right after it has been whipped.  I used Wilton tip 1M, which is a larger tip.  I chose this tip because I love it, because after I spent an appalling amount of time looking for a coupler to use my small tips, I gave up and used this big tip which can be easily used without one.  I have many, many couplers.  But after they go through the dishwasher, they somehow disappear into the abyss.  Sadly, my tools never end up back in the cabinet where they belong.

It all worked out in the end, I was very happy with the results of the large tip.  But feel free to use any you have.  I made these in 4.75 inch mini tart pans.  But they could also be made in a muffin tin.  If using a muffin tin or any smaller tart pan, the baking time should be reduced by several minutes.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Chocolate Chip Cookie Tarts with Vanilla Buttercream Filling
Author: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
For the Cookie
  • 16 Tablespoons (8 Ounces) Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • ¾ Cup (5.625 Ounces) Light Brown Sugar
  • ½ Cup (3.5 Ounces) White Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 and ½ Cups (11.25 Ounces) White All-Purpose Flour
  • ¾ Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Cups Chocolate Chips
For the Buttercream
  • 11 Tablespoons (5.5 Ounces) Butter. Softened
  • 5 and ½ Cups (22 Ounces) Powdered Sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Additional Chocolate Chips for Topping
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the egg and vanilla and beat until the egg is completely mixed in. Add in the flour, baking soda and salt and stir just until the dough comes together. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  2. Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of each mini tart pan. It takes approximately 5 tablespoons of dough to fill a 4.75" tart pan. The dough should be about ¼ inch thick. Cover and refrigerate the tarts for one hour or up to overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Place the mini tarts on a cookie sheet (while still in the tart pans). Bake the tarts for 15-17 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. They may puff up a bit while baking but the middle will sink down once it is removed from the oven. Remove the baked tarts from the cookie sheet and place on a cooling rack. Once they are cool you can remove them from the tart pans.
For the Buttercream
  1. In a large mixing bowl beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add in 1 cup of powdered sugar alternating with 1 tablespoon milk and beat until smooth. Repeat with the remaining sugar and milk. Continue beating until the frosting is at desired consistency.
  2. Place the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a 1M tip or any of your choosing.
  3. Pipe the frosting evenly into the 12 mini tarts. Top with additional chopped chocolate chips if desired.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cookies

Half chocolate dough and half peanut butter dough makes double the goodness!  These swirl cookies are rich, fudgy and delicious!

Half chocolate dough and half peanut butter dough makes double the goodness! These swirled cookies are rich, fudgy and delicious!

 I say often on the blog, weigh your ingredients – it is so important for good baking.  It’s something I do for every single thing I bake.   My scale was lovingly overworked, but alas one day it stopped altogether.  I have a feeling it was mad about something, since on its way out it whispered to the other appliances… psst all of you – come with me!

So my food processor promptly followed suit.  I’ve been using the same one for 16 years, but sadly the company no long sells all the parts to it.   So there has been lots of flipping through amazon reviews, trying to cobble together new and old pieces that will work in harmony.

whatever… I can live without them temporarily.

Half chocolate dough and half peanut butter dough makes double the goodness! These swirled cookies are rich, fudgy and delicious!

Half chocolate dough and half peanut butter dough makes double the goodness! These swirled cookies are rich, fudgy and delicious!

But lastly, the one I can barely say without tears, my #1 kitchen tool.  My Viking professional mixer.  That big, oversized, takes-up-too-much-counter-space, lovable monster.  10 quarts and 1,000 horses have carried me through triple batches of bread dough, mega batches of cookie dough, and cakes for every possible occasion.

After fruitlessly calling every appliance repair store in a 30 mile radius, my sweet husband decided to take it on himself.  He narrowed down the problem to a blown circuit board.  How?  No idea, I’ll just stick to the cookie making, thanks.  There was smoke last night wafting through the house from the basement.  From soldering of pieces of my baby.  Latest status, the gears are turning, now there is one other rogue wire to be reconnected.  So close!

Half chocolate dough and half peanut butter dough makes double the goodness! These swirled cookies are rich, fudgy and delicious!

But impatient.  Yet I will let none of these keep me from more baking.  I relearn doing things with less, practice my flour scooping technique 🙂   I kneaded a triple batch of bagels by hand this morning.   A workout indeed.  But more importantly, these cookies.  These cookies, the ones you will dream about after tasting just once.  Chocolate, peanut butter, more chocolate!  So soft and tender, they melt in your mouth.

Really, they make everything better.

Half chocolate dough and half peanut butter dough makes double the goodness! These swirled cookies are rich, fudgy and delicious!Half chocolate dough and half peanut butter dough makes double the goodness! These swirled cookies are rich, fudgy and delicious!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cookies
Author: 
Serves: Approximately 24-26 Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • ½ Cup (4 Ounces) Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • ½ Cup (4 Ounces) Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 Cup (7 Ounces) White Sugar
  • ½ Cup (3.5 Ounces) Brown Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • ½ Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Cups (9 Ounces) Flour
  • ¾ Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Milk
  • ⅔ Cup Mini Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy. Add in the peanut butter and beat until it is smooth and creamy.
  4. Add in both sugars and beat well.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl beat once more. Add in the eggs one at a time, allowing each to be completely mixed in. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  6. Add the flour mixture to the mixer bowl and stir just until combined. All the flour should be absorbed into the dough. Take ½ of the dough and move to a bowl. Add the cocoa powder and milk to this half of the dough. Stir until combined.
  7. Add ⅓ cup of the mini chips to the chocolate batter and ⅓ cup to the peanut butter batter.
  8. Place the doughs next to each other in the same bowl. Scoop cookies that are half chocolate and half peanut butter. (Approximately 1 and ½ tablespoons in size) Bake for 10-11 minutes until very lightly browned on the edges/bottom. Allow to cool on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
  9. Store in an airtight container.

Almond and Chocolate Chip Shortbread

Tender and buttery, almond and chocolate chip shortbread is sure to be your new favorite treat.

Chocolate-Almond-Shortbread-5

Need a simple yet elegant dessert idea?  Shortbread in a tart pan is fast, easy and of course delicious!  This is  softer than traditional shortbread, and although I certainly love a crunch, this style has won me over!  The shortbread is extra thick, and it can almost be served like a cake rather than a cookie.  The almonds and chocolate give it an extra boost of flavor.

Tender and buttery, almond and chocolate chip shortbread is sure to be your new favorite dessert!

Somebody mentioned to me that there was no school Friday, and it took me a second to realize it is Good Friday already. (Side note: does the whole country have Good Friday off or is it a New England thing?)  I can’t believe Easter is a week away!  It always seems early when Easter is in March, it’s hard to get into the pastels, bunnies, and green grass when outside is still brown and bare.  Especially since we are expecting a Nor’easter on Monday- I guess it will be a short school week 😉

Tender and buttery, almond and chocolate chip shortbread is sure to be your new favorite dessert!Tender and buttery, almond and chocolate chip shortbread is sure to be your new favorite dessert!

Either for a snow day or spring day – I can’t think of anything better to be munching on!

Almond and Chocolate Chip Shortbread
Author: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup (8 Ounces) Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • ¾ Cup (5 Ounces) Sugar
  • 2 and ¼ Cups (10 Ounces) White Flour
  • ½ Teaspoon Table Salt
  • ½ Teaspoon Almond Extract
  • ½ Cup Chocolate Chips
  • ½ Cup Almonds, Chopped
  • Sugar for Topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment add the butter and sugar and cream together until light and fluffy. Add in the almond extract. Add in the flour and salt and stir until mixture looks like moist sand. If you pick up some and squeeze it should stick together. Stir in the chocolate chips and almonds.
  3. Pour the sandy dough into the tart pan. Press the dough down in an even layer, covering the bottom of the tart pan. Sprinkle top with additional sugar. Refrigerate dough for 30-60 minutes.
  4. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until light golden brown along the edges. The center should feel firm if gently pressed. Remove pan from oven and place on a cooling rack.
  5. Remove from tart pan and slice into 8 pieces.

 

Buttery almond chocolate chip shortbread. Mixed in 1 bowl and baked in just 1 pan!

Brown Sugar Butter Cookies

Tender butter cookies, made with brown sugar for a tasty twist!

Brown Sugar Butter Cookies

These little butter cookies are so easy to make!  And perfect for those little hands that always want to help.  Using brown sugar keeps the cookies soft and tender.  The brown sugar also adds a wonderful deep flavor.

You all know that I am a chocolate chip cookie addict.  Well these little beauties have some of that chocolate chip cookie dough without the chocolate flavor going on.   Am I the only one that loves just the dough?

Brown Sugar Butter Cookies

This was a modified version of my vanilla butter cookies, I just swapped out the white sugar for brown.  Since I didn’t intend for these to be rolled and cut into shapes, I also reduced the flour.   These don’t have the traditional crunch of a sugar cookie, the result is a tender, softer cookie.

Brown Sugar Butter Cookies

Check out the full recipe over a Taste’s of Lizzy T’s where I am guest posting!

Double Chocolate Swirl Chocolate Chip Cookies

A rich dark swirl of chocolate creates an easy variation on the classic favorite.

Can't decide between chocolate and vanilla? Swirl cookies to the rescue! Chocolate chip cookie recipe made with half vanilla dough and half chocolate.

What’s your favorite dessert?    I love cookies.  I would take those over cake, ice cream, pie or a fancy schmancy dessert any day.  Plus they are usually fast and easy, which fits my schedule most days.  My absolute favorite is chocolate chip.  Which is totally boring, I know.  So a lot  of the time I am happy to make some variation.  I even have an entire pinterest board  dedicated to this obsession.

These cookies are torn and confused between being a regular chocolate chip cookie or a double chocolate chip cookie.

 

Double Chocolate Swirl Chocolate Chip Cookies at The Well Floured Kitchen

The key to the perfect cookie is to slightly underbake them so they are still soft and moist inside.  I also like my cookies to be a bit on the thicker side, not thin and crispy.  I add a bit more flour than the average recipe, and chill the dough before baking to prevent much spreading.

Now I may be in the minority, but I really like the flavor of just the cookie dough, so I don’t go crazy adding chocolate.  The dark cocoa powder ( I use Hershey Special Dark or Nativas Organic Raw Cocoa Powder) also is quite chocolatey.  Also, when I leave the room full of warm cookies cooling with giant chunks of glistening chocolate peeking through, I sometimes return to find little fingerprints dug into the chunks.

Don’t let this stop you from loading your cookies up with more chocolate bits.  Just take my advice and don’t leave them unattended.

Double Chocolate Swirl Chocolate Chip Cookies at The Well Floured Kitchen

My favorite cookie tools are the silicone baking mats and the cookie scoops.   When scooping the dough take a bit from each side of the bowl.  You could definitely create a more interesting swirl type pattern, but I was just going for a half vanilla half chocolate look.  Either way they are wholly delicious.

Double Chocolate Swirl Chocolate Chip Cookies at The Well Floured Kitchen

 

Print

Double Chocolate Swirl Chocolate Chip Cookies

Servings 36 Medium Sized Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 Cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour 11.25 ounces
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 3/4 Teaspoons Salt
  • 1 Cup Butter Softened (2 Sticks), 8 ounces
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar 7 ounces
  • 1/2 Cup White Sugar 3.5 ounces
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tablespoons Dark Cocoa Powder
  • 3 Ounces Dark Chocolate Chopped or 3/4 Cup Chocolate Chips

Instructions

  1. Beat butter and sugars together until creamy, stopping in the middle to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined.
  2. Take half of the dough and move to another bowl. Mix the two tablespoons of cocoa into the dough in one bowl. Stir half the chocolate chunks into each bowl.
  3. Combine one spoonful of each type of dough to shape the cookies. I like to use a cookie scoop which makes the cookies more uniform. Place the cookie dough onto a lightly greased or parchment /silicone baking mat lined cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 9-10 minutes. They will be very lightly browned on the edges and the centers may just be set. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the pan and then transfer to a cooling rack.
  4. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe Notes

If you are having trouble incorporating the cocoa powder into the dough, add a teaspoon of milk and continue to stir.

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