The Cranberry Bait and Switch: Citrus Chocolate Chunk Cookies

by Maris Callahan on June 16, 2009


Orange. Cranberry. Two flavors reminiscent of holiday desserts. Christmas in June? Just bear with me for a minute, and you won’t be disappointed.
When browsing a new-to-me food blog , I stumbled across these orange cranberry cookies. It seemed like a good idea to make a cookie that isn’t chocolate chip, since we know I can’t trust myself around those.

Typically, I like chocolate pure and unadultered, one exception being when the chocolate in question is covered by an artificially colored-and-dyed candy shell. To be more specific, I don’t like chocolate/peanut butter, I can live without chocolate/caramel and chocolate/citrus is as good to me as no chocolate at all.
I thought the orange and cranberry combination would be a nice change from the chocolate chip cookies that, if I do say so myself, I’m quite good at making. But no sooner had I chopped a cup of dried, sweetened cranberries did it occur to me that they would be better served in buttermilk cranberry scones.

Within moments, my eyes fell on an orange dark chocolate bar that I’d gotten in a gift set and was waiting to be turned into brownies to bake for a friend’s birthday. Well, I sacrificed the brownies for these cookies and wouldn’t you know, it was well worth the risk: citrus chocolate chunk cookies were born.

Citrus Chocolate Chunk Cookies
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1 c. granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp grated orange zest
Juice of 1/2 orange
1 tsp vanilla
6 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment, silipat or non-stick cooking spray. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, and whisk; set aside.
2. In bowl of stand mixer (or a bowl…with a hand mixer), combine butter and sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add yolk and beat until fully incorporated. Add orange juice, then zest and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated.
3. Turn mixer to low speed, add flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. Remove bowl from mixer, stir in cranberries, and place 1 Tbsp rounds of dough onto cookie sheets.
4. Place cookies in the oven and bake, switching baking sheet positions half way through baking time, for 12-14 minutes (they should not brown). Remove from oven and let cool on pans completely, about 10-15 minutes.
Note: I made my cookies a little bit larger than the recipe calls for and wound up with about a dozen. Since they were fatter, they had to cook longer and wound up a little crispier than I care for. I wound up giving most of the cookies away, but if you like a crispy cookie, these are for you. If you like something a little chewier, you can make them smaller and you’ll have more success than I did.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Jamie June 16, 2009 at 12:00 am

Yum and more yum! These cookies look fantastic! But why didn’t you throw in the cranberries as well? Mmmm cranberries and chocolate. But, if not, one cookie and one scone, please….


mtinnkeeper June 16, 2009 at 12:00 am

wow.. .a must try for our cookie jar… guests’ll love it .. thanx :) :)


ksgoodeats June 16, 2009 at 12:00 am

Call me crazy but I’ve never had citrus and chocolate together – I’m kind of intrigued!


kat June 16, 2009 at 12:00 am

I bet that chocolate citrus flavor was great


doggybloggy June 16, 2009 at 12:00 am

you confused me – I thought there were two of you….do you post on both blogs with the same frequency?


Paula June 16, 2009 at 12:00 am

Mmmm, they look delish!!!


brandi June 16, 2009 at 12:00 am

those look amazing!
I love dark chocolate + orange. So good together!


Ashley June 16, 2009 at 12:00 am

I swear I only ever come across your posts when I’m starving. Or, maybe they just make me hungry.


Barbara June 16, 2009 at 12:00 am

Yum! I love cookie recipes and what could be nicer than orange with chocolate?? (Thanks, Maris, for visiting my blog- so pleased you like the recipes!)


Sara June 16, 2009 at 12:00 am

I actually really love orange with chocolate, it’s one of my favorite flavor combinations!


E.P. June 16, 2009 at 12:00 am

Like you, I’m generally a purist when it comes to chocolate, but my interest in these cookies is piqued. I might have to give them a shot.


mandy June 16, 2009 at 12:00 am

I bet these are refreshing, know what I mean? With the citrus. Adding it to my recipes to try!


biz319 June 16, 2009 at 12:00 am

Love that combo!!


Meghan June 16, 2009 at 12:00 am

Maris- This is Jordan’s friend- I’m going to bake these this week!


Catherine June 16, 2009 at 12:00 am

Though I like my chocolate unadulterated…I have to say these sound v. good.


Kerstin June 16, 2009 at 12:00 am

Lovely cookies! Cranberries should be enjoyed year round :)


Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella June 17, 2009 at 12:00 am

I know a friend that would love absolutely love these as she loves chocolate coated oranges and fruit. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe Maris!


Kim June 17, 2009 at 12:00 am

This was a great bait and switch. Thanks for the recipe.


Rebeca June 17, 2009 at 12:00 am

Dark Chocolate + Orange is my absolute favorite chocolate combination… *sigh* another recipe I must add to the list!


cookeatrun June 17, 2009 at 12:00 am



Ashley June 17, 2009 at 12:00 am

That is the most wonderful photo of a cookie ever taken. And it sounds fabulous! I always love a nice twist on an old favourite. I must say, chewy cookies are my fave..!


Blond Duck June 17, 2009 at 12:00 am

That’s a really neat combination!


Sues June 17, 2009 at 12:00 am

I’m not lying when I saw my stomach rumbled at the exact time I saw that photo. YUM!! I love the citrus and chocolate combo!


lisa (dandysugar) June 17, 2009 at 12:00 am

I actually love chocolate with a hint of citrus. (I make a chocolate chip cookie with a bit of orange juice in he batter). Your cookies look chunky chocolaty delicious! Love dark chocolate.


RebeccaC June 17, 2009 at 12:00 am

I really love your thought process. This is exactly the kind of mid-stream change of plan that I live for. I’ll be looking for those scones….


Melissa June 17, 2009 at 12:00 am

Katie at Good Things Catered is a good friend of a very good friend… and her blog is lovely, isn’t it?
Citrus and chocolate. Yum. I love the way this recipe came about!


lisamichele June 18, 2009 at 12:00 am

Mris, you always come up with something wonderful and delicious. These cookies are no exception…I MUST try them ASAP!


Cate O'Malley June 18, 2009 at 12:00 am

Sounds like a fabulous combination that just works – yum!


The Duo Dishes June 22, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Anyone who knows us knows we love citrus! It is the best thing ever ever ever. Of course orange and chocolate mesh very well.


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