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Challenge: Happiest Holidays

Hiddles Darling Holiday Cookies

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Soft cookies laced with orange zest, cranberries, white chocolate, and pistachios.

Hiddles Darling Holiday Cookies

  • Servings: 1 cookie
  • Yield: 2 dozen


  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • grated zest from one orange (about 1 Tablespoon)
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar, firmly packed (light or dark)
  • 1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract (or 1 teaspoon of vanilla, if you prefer)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • ¾ cup pistachios, shelled + coarsely chopped
  • 6 oz good white chocolate, chopped (I used Lindt's white classic recipe bars)
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips (feel free to add more)


  1. In a stand mixer bowl, combine granulated sugar & orange zest. Use your fingertips to rub the zest into sugar until moist and aromatic. Whisk in brown sugar till combined; set aside.
  2. Brown the butter: In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Increase heat to medium and, stirring occasionally, cook the butter until it turns golden brown and develops a nutty aroma. Depending on the stove's heat, it can take 5-8 minutes for the butter to brown properly. During this process the butter will first become foamy before changing color, making it difficult to see what's going on. Be sure to give it a good stir now and then so that the butter doesn't burn. Once it's gorgeous and fragrant, remove the pan from the heat and stir in almond extract; set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a large mixing bowl. whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt & cinnamon; set aside.
  4. Add brown butter to sugar + orange zest bowl. Whisk until fully incorporated.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. After both eggs have been incorporated, give the dough a good 30 second stir. Let mixture rest for 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of whisking + resting two more times until dough is thick, smooth and shiny. {Note; whisking and resting, repeatedly, gives the cookies a sexy texture.}
  6. Fit stand mixer with paddle attachment and, with the machine on low speed, slowly add flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
  7. Remove paddle attachment and use a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula to stir in the cranberries, pistachios, and white chocolate.
  8. Line a medium-size baking sheet with parchment paper. For each cookie, measure out a heaping Tablespoon of dough (mine weighed in at 2oz). Gently roll each cookie into a ball and place onto prepared baking sheet. {Note: don't worry about spacing them apart, the cookies need to spend a night in the fridge.} Cover cookies + sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
  9. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line another baking sheet with parchment.
  10. Place refrigerated cookies onto baking sheet, allowing for about 1-inch of spreading room. For rustic-looking cookies, gently press each mound of dough down to a ½" thickness. If you want a smoother, thicker appearance, leave the mounds happy & high. Sprinkle each cookie with a small amount of sea salt.
  11. Bake 10-14 minutes or until cookies are lightly golden but still tender on the inside. {Note; don't overbake; the cookies will firm up as they cool off.}
  12. Remove sheet from oven and allow cookies to rest for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. If they're too fragile to transfer after 5 minutes, wait a bit longer.

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