Imagine this…. a buttery sugar cookie laden with dark chocolate, toasted almonds, and fresh cranberries for a perfect balance of melt in your mouth sweet-tart goodness. If you can convince yourself there are enough cranberries and dark chocolate pieces in each cookie to offer a real anti-oxidant blast, well then you don’t even have to feel guilty about eating them! Yesterday, I varied up my favorite butter cookie recipe and swapped 1 cup of chopped fresh cranberries for the dried apricots and toasted almonds for the pecans. One word – SCRUMPTIOUS
Once cranberries are back in season, I pick up a few bags each time I am at the store (okay, not really each time I am at the store, but that would be a noble goal, wouldn’t it!) and finely chop them in the food processor, bag them in 1 cup measurements and start stockpiling in the freezer to use all year long. Since it is practically impossible to find cranberries out of season, and because it is messy and time consuming to chop them, this is definitely worth my time to do in large quantities when the red berry is available. Then I just grab a bag whenever I want it for a recipe (like Gluten Free Banana Cranberry Breakfast Bread) and enjoy the “no chopping, no measuring, no mess” of it all.
One more thing about why I take the time to chop them…. I like to use cranberries unsweetened to minimize sugar intake. But wow are they tart! Biting into a whole, unsweetened cranberry, even if it is mixed into a sweet medium, is a shock! So I chop them finely to disperse them evenly in the batter for a subtle, tart offset to whatever sweet goodness I’m baking up.
For the unofficial record, two bags of Ocean Spray fresh cranberries chopped down to approximately five cups. Happy cranberry season!