I am always looking for new variations on drop cookies to try out when it comes to baking up batches of holiday cookies. As fun as it is to make gingerbread men and soft cutout cookies, it is a bit time consuming to chill the dough, roll and cut the dough, then decorate the finished cookies. A batch of drop cookies that can be mixed up in just a few minutes is ideal for filling those waiting hours and adding something else to a cookie plate.
These cookies are very simple, but very good. The basic dough is a sugar cookie dough. It’s not too sweet, but it has a lovely vanilla flavor and a very chewy texture. White chocolate chips and dried cherries are stirred into the dough before baking. The white chocolate adds some additional sweetness to the cookies and is really complemented by the vanilla already in the dough. The dried cherries added a hint of tartness that balanced out the sweetness of the white chocolate, and their inherent chewiness works perfectly with the chewy cookie base. If your dried cherries are large, chop them up slightly with a sharp knife or kitchen shears so the are about the same size as the chocolate chips.
To keep the cookies chewy, take them out of the oven when they are just beginning to turn a pale golden color. They might not look quite set in the center (although the bottoms of the cookies should also be a light brown). Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet to give them a chance to set up. They’ll be a bit crisp around the edges on the first day, but after they’ve been stored overnight in an airtight container, they’ll be chewy throughout. The cookies will keep well for a couple of days, too, so you can make a batch ahead of time if you’re planning on doing a lot of entertaining and want to have something on hand.
White Chocolate Cherry Cookies
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 white chocolate chips
2/3 cup dried cherries (coarsely chopped, if cherries are very large)
Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.Mix in the flour mixture, followed by the white chocolate chips and dried cherries.
Drop tablespoonfuls of dough (1-inch balls) onto prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are just beginning to turn a light golden color around the edges. Cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet until cookies are completely set, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 2 dozen.
Note: Feel free to double this recipe if you need more cookies to serve to a big (or hungry) crowd.