A few weeks back, I had a craving for Cranberry Bliss Bars from Starbucks but, like all of the best coffee shop items, cranberry bliss bars are seasonal and we were no longer in cranberry bliss season. I shared some great copycat cranberry bliss bars a while back and was just about ready to make some of those when a recipe for cranberry bliss cookies from Gimme Some Oven popped up in my Pinterest feed (apparently I was not the only person craving some cranberry bliss that day). If you haven’t been to Gimme Some Oven before, let me warn you that you will get sucked in by all of the enticing recipes. They all look amazing. Anyway, I decided to give the recipe a whirl and while I was at it, make it gluten-free so everyone could enjoy them.
I threw the dough together and was just about to toss it into the refrigerator to chill for an hour, when I decided that an hour was a long time to wait without any sort of taste test. I popped some dough into my mouth, and I immediately noticed that something wasn’t quite right. It wasn’t cranberry-blissy enough. It was almost there, but something was missing. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what. At first I tried convincing myself that it would taste right once I baked them, but then I decided to look back at the bar recipe to see if it might hold a clue. I quickly discovered that the bar recipe called for something that the cookie recipe did not – orange zest. Luckily, there are always oranges lying around, so I was able to quickly mix in some zest (there was an added bonus that I was able to use the orange to make the boys a snack). Perfection! It was exactly what was missing. Into the refrigerator the dough went and once the dough was chilled, everything else went off without a hitch. The cookies were a huge hit and I’m already getting pressure to make more again soon. I hope you are having a happy Monday!
Gluten-Free Cranberry Bliss Cookies
Adapted from Gimme Some Oven
- 3 cups gluten-free flour (I used this one)
- 1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 large orange
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 1 cup dried cranberries, chopped
For the Frosting:
- 1 (8 ounce) bar cream cheese, at room temperature
- ½ cup white chocolate chips, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar (or more)
For the topping:
- 1 ½ cups dried cranberries, roughly chopped
- ½ cup white chocolate chips, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together gluten-free flour, xanthan gum, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In another medium sized bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until fluffy.
- Beat in eggs, vanilla and zest.
- Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.
- Fold the chopped, dried cranberries and the white chocolate chips into the dough mixture.
- Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour (2 hours is better… if you can wait that long).
- While the dough is chilling, line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- When you are ready to bake, place dough by rounded Tablespoons onto baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are just starting to turn golden around the edges.
- Remove from oven and immediately transfer to wire cooling racks and allow to cool completely.
To Make the Frosting:
- Melt white chocolate in a double boiler set over simmering water.
- Remove from heat and allow chocolate to cool slightly.
- Whip the cream cheese and the vanilla together the bowl of an electric mixer.
- While the mixer is running, pour in the white chocolate and continue mixing until thoroughly combined.
- Reduce speed to low and add in the powdered sugar.
- Continue mixing until the frosting is completely smooth.
- Set frosting aside.
- Melt ½ cup chocolate chips in double boiler set over medium heat.
- Frost the (completely cooled) cookies and top with roughly chopped dried cranberries.
- Drizzle with white chocolate (I put it into a small Ziplock bag and cut one of the corners off to drizzle over the cookies).
- Allow drizzle to set up before serving.
These cookies get better the longer they sit (days two and three are the best).