The luscious little sparklers you see before you are called "Sparkling Cranberry Gems," called that, I assume, from the coarse sparkling sugar coating them and the dried cranberries tucked inside (not much gets by me!).
The fine folks at King Arthur Flour created this recipe and yesterday morning at 7am, I decided I needed one more cookie added to the "the list." For those of you playing along at home, you'll recall that I published my holiday baking list a couple of weeks ago and I have been very disciplined in sticking to it. I did have one mishap: Giada's Cornmeal Cranberry Cake. A cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake came out clean, but as it started to cool it slowly cracked and fell in the center. When I tried to invert it onto a plate, the cake broke into a semi-liquid mess all over the counter! So disappointing. Well, as the French like to say, c'est la vie. I guess one baking disaster out of all the baking I did this holiday season isn't too bad.
Back to the Sparkling Gems. These are super easy to make, delicious, and even a little bit healthy for you (check out the nutritional values at the end of the recipe). Because I only had King Arthur whole wheat flour in the house, I used a half 'n half mixture of whole wheat and white. You can use 100% white flour if that's all you've got. Either way, I think you'll be happy.
Sparkling Cranberry Gems printable recipe
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) King Arthur White Whole Wheat
Flour, organic preferred; or King Arthur Unbleached
1 1/2 cups (7 ounces) dried cranberries, packed
2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) cold unsalted butter,
cut into pats
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) milk
scant 1/2 cup (about 3 1/2 ounces) coarse white
Place the flour and dried cranberries in the bowl of a food
Process until the cranberries are coarsely shredded.
Imagine a single dried cranberry cut into about 4 pieces: that’s
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment)
two baking sheets.
Whisk together the flour/cranberry mixture, sugar, baking powder,
and salt. Add the vanilla and butter, mixing until the butter is
thoroughly distributed, but some pea-sized chunks still remain.
Dribble in the milk while mixing; the dough will become cohesive.
Place the coarse sugar in a plastic bag; about 1-quart size
Using a teaspoon cookie scoop (or a spoon), scoop the dough
by 1 3/4-teaspoonfuls (about 1 ¼" balls) into the bag, 6 or 8 at
a time. Close the top of the bag, and gently shake to coat the
balls with sugar. Place them on the prepared baking sheet,
and use the bottom of a glass to flatten them to about ¼" thick
(about 1 ½" in diameter). Repeat with the remaining dough.
Bake the cookies for 16 to 17 minutes, until they’re set and
barely, BARELY beginning to brown around the very edge;
the tops shouldn’t be brown at all. Remove them from the oven,
and cool right on the pan.
Yield: about 3 dozen cookies.
Serving Size, 1 cookie (15g); Servings per Batch, 36; amount
per serving: Calories 60, Calories from Fat 20, Total Fat 2g(3% DV),
Saturated Fat 1g(6% DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 5mg(2% DV),
Sodium 30mg(1% DV), Total Carbohydrate 10g(3% DV), Dietary
Fiber 1g(3% DV), Sugars 7g, Protein 1g, Vitamin A (2% DV), Vitamin C
(0% DV), Calcium (2% DV), Iron (0% DV).