White Chocolate Stuffed Cranberry Gingerbread Cookies, Yikes!
As a child, I remember walking into my Polish Gramma’s house during the holidays and smelling the spicy aroma of her gingerbread cookies. It was a comforting, welcoming, and loving kitchen that always had freshly baked cookies or cakes that would overtake you sense of smell. Whenever I bake during the holidays, I instantly am taken back to Gramma’s house when the smell of ginger and cinnamon fills my kitchen.
I never did receive any of my Gramma’s recipes, as they were lost with her when she passed away. It has been my passion and determination to create such amazing baked goods as she did. I love the warm memories that ginger and cinnamon mixed together bring to mind. It has taken me some time to master a gingerbread cookie I am fond of. I didn’t want just a plain gingerbread, but rather try and recreate a complex version. By adding the tart dried cranberries and baking white chocolate in the centers, it updates this old fashioned favorite. My White Chocolate Stuffed Cranberry Gingerbread Cookies are sophisticated and appealing to sweet loving crowds. These cookies are crunchy on the edges and incredibly soft and chewy in the centers. Everyone who bites into one cannot believe how the white chocolate just oozes out! People always ask me for this recipe, but I have yet to part with it. Seeing that it is the holiday season, it only seems fit to share such a wonderful recipe with the world.
So here’s a little story behind this recipe…I actually entered this gem into the Barnes & Noble Holiday Cookie Contest. There were over 3,000 entries and the top 3 were chosen to fly to New York to compete with an assigned chef to have their cookie sold at all of the Barnes & Noble cafes. Well, much to my surprise, I was chosen as one of the 3 finalists. I was in shock and so excited. But little did I know, this scheduled competition would take place during the same time I had another HUGE commitment. It was so hard and sad to tell them I had to decline. And at this point, I am unable to disclose the other big thing I was committed to. I am so flattered that Barnes & Noble recognized this recipe as a winner and chose me…
White Chocolate Stuffed Cranberry Gingerbread Cookies
Yields 26-28 cookies
1 cup margarine, softened and must have 80% vegetable oil
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup instant french vanilla pudding mix (1 box)
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 package of white chocolate melting wafers (56 total circles)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the white chocolate wafers in the freezer, about 10 minutes prior to baking.
2. In an electric mixer, beat margarine until smooth.
3. Add in both sugars then dry pudding mix.
4. Mix in molasses, followed by eggs.
5. Stir in ginger, cinnamon, and vanilla extract.
6. Add in baking soda and salt. Mix in flour slowly.
7. On lowest setting, mix in dried cranberries.
8. Scoop out 1 tbsp dough balls with a disher (scooper), you should get about 56. Set aside. Remove white chocolate from freezer.
9. Place one dough ball in the palm of your hand and flatten. Place 2 white chocolate discs in the center. Take another dough ball and place on top of white chocolate, sandwiching it between the dough. Roll in the palm of your hand to form a ball and place on baking sheet. (for more visual details on how to hide the chocolate in a cookie, please refer to my Ghirardelli Stuffed Chocolate Cookies)
10. Continue this process, making 6 balls. Place 2-3 inches apart on baking sheet. Bake 375 degrees for 11 minutes. Continue working on the remaining dough while other cookies are baking.
11. Allow to cool until warm on pan. Remove and sprinkle with powdered sugar for that added touch. Enjoy.