Crispy edges and a soft, chewy centre, these dark chocolate walnut cranberry cookies are everything you need in one cookie. They’re sweet, chunky, have a little sea salt kick, loaded with gooey chocolate, chewy cranberries and crunchy walnuts. They’re so simple to make too.
Why you’ll love them
Who doesn’t love a warm cookie fresh from the oven? If you do and you love your cookies chunky and chewy, you’re definitely in the right place.
- Extra flavour from browned butter
- Chewy, sweet dried cranberries
- Crunchy walnuts
- Pools of gooey chocolate
- Easy to make
- No chilling required!
These walnut cranberry cookies have all the texture you want in one cookie and the perfect combination of sweet and tangy with a little hit of salt.
With all that delicious in one bite, I got rave reviews from my taste testers on these cookies. I’m also normally quite disciplined with the amount of my own treats I eat but I couldn’t resist these and kept going back for another one.
Tools you’ll need
- A large mixing bowl
- Balloon whisk and silicone spatula
- Large cookie scoop is helpful (roughly 3 tablespoons in size)
- Cookie sheet
- Wire cooling rack
Ingredients in walnut cranberry cookies
Loaded with delicious add-ins, delicious flavourings and a combination of sugars, these are the perfect cookie.
Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.
- Flour: You just need plain / all-purpose flour for these cookies
- Butter: The butter in these cookies is browned adding an extra nuttiness and flavour. Make sure to use unsalted butter so you can control the salt level in the cookies.
- Sugar: You’ll want a combination of brown and white sugar for these cookies. The brown provides flavour and chewy texture while the white helps them crisp.
- Eggs: These cookies have the richness of two egg yolks.
- Vanilla: Use pure vanilla extract as opposed to vanilla essence which is a synthetic flavouring.
- Cinnamon: You only need a little cinnamon and it doesn’t stand out in the finished cookies but just gives them a little extra something.
- Salt: There is both regular table salt and sea salt flakes in these cookies. The table salt just balances the sweetness out while the sea salt on top is a little extravagance which takes these to the next level.
- Baking soda: The baking soda gives our cookies a little lift and spread.
- Add-ins: We’re talking dried cranberries, chopped walnuts and big chunks of chocolate. Make sure to use a good quality eating chocolate and cut it into chunks. So much better than chocolate chips.
Tip: Don’t like walnuts? No problem. Use any nuts you like in these. Almonds and cashews would be lovely, as would pecans.
How to make dark chocolate cranberry walnut cookies
These cookies are so simple to make and no mixer required! Just one bowl (and a saucepan for the browned butter) and no need to wait while they chill, you can have these fresh out of the oven within half an hour of starting.
Detailed instructions in the recipe card below.
- Chop the chocolate and walnuts: Make sure to chop the walnuts quite small but the chocolate nice and chunky. I’d say my chocolate pieces are about the size of 2-3 chocolate chips.
- Brown the butter: Start by browning the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter (photo 1) then swirl it often until browned. Pour the browned butter into a large mixing bowl (photo 2). Let it cool for at least 10 minutes.
- Add the sugar: Add the white and brown sugar to the browned butter and whisk to combine.
- Wet ingredients: Add the egg (photo 3) and whisk that through, followed by the egg yolk and vanilla.
- Dry ingredients: Add the combined flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda and stir it through (photo 4).
- Add-ins: Add the cranberries, walnuts and chocolate (photo 5) and fold it through.
- Scoop the dough: Use a large cookie scoop or roll balls of cookie dough (about 3 tablespoons worth), then place them on a tray with 2-3 inches between them (photo 6). Sprinkle a little flaky sea salt on top then bake.
- Cool: Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Even after an hour, the chocolate is still gooey inside and the cookies just a touch warm – see if you can resist them.
Tips and tricks
- Make sure the eggs are at room temperature.
- Be a little patient and allow the browned butter to cool for at least 10 minutes or up to 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Baking is a science and a little too much or too little will make a big difference.
- Save some cranberries and chocolate to add to the top of each of the cookies. Place the cranberries on top of the dough balls before baking but save the chocolate to put on immediately after baking.
- When you’re first mixing in the cranberries, walnuts and chocolate, you’ll think there is too much to combine but I promise it’ll come together. To be honest, it’s easier to use your hands at that point.
- All ovens vary. I recommend keeping an oven thermometer in your oven at all times as very few oven thermostats are actually correct. What might take 11 minutes in my oven might take 9 or 12 in yours.
- The cookie dough can be frozen too. See more notes below in the “storing these cookies” section.
Can I use fresh cranberries?
You can use fresh cranberries in these cookies if you prefer. Just make sure to chop them a little bit first.
Storing these cookies
These walnut cranberry cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for a week or so, though the fresher the better. They’re amazing warmed in the microwave for 5-8 seconds.
The cookies can be frozen and so can the dough. If freezing the dough, scoop it first and freeze the dough balls on a baking tray. Once they’re solid, transfer them to a ziplock bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months.
You can make this dough ahead of time too, if you like. Just cover it well with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
While these are perfect for holiday entertaining and they make a wonderful Christmas cookie, or even for thanksgiving, these cookies are just lovely any time of year. Thick and chewy, a plate of these won’t last long.
If you try this dark chocolate walnut cranberry cookies recipe, please take a moment to leave a rating and comment below. I love hearing from you and it helps other readers too! You can also take a photo and tag @sugarsaltmagic on Instagram.
More cookie recipes you’ll love
- Garibaldi Biscuits
- Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies
- White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies
- Caramilk Cookies
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- 170 g unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks / 6oz)
- 260 g plain (all purp) flour (2 cups / 9.2oz)
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda (bicarb soda)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup light brown sugar (100g / 3.5oz)
- ½ cup white granulated sugar (100g / 3.5oz)
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 egg yolk from a large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped dark chocolate (140g / 4.9oz)
- ¾ cup dried cranberries (105g / 3.7oz)
- ¾ cup walnuts halves, roughly chopped (70g / 2.5oz)
- Sea salt flakes for sprinkling
For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided
- Preheat oven to 180C / 350F /160C fan forced. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.
- Place the butter in a small saucepan over low-medium heat. Heat swirling until the butter melts and starts to bubble. Let it bubble away, swirling every so often until the bubbles turn foamy and the butter is amber brown in colour. Pour into a large mixing bowl, holding back any solids if they black (brown bits are ok), and leave to cool for at least 10 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
- Add the sugars to the browned butter and whisk until well combined. Add the egg and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
- Add the flour and fold the dough with a spatula until 90% mixed through.
- Set aside a couple of tablespoons of each of the chocolate and cranberries.
- Add the remaining chocolate, remaining cranberries and walnuts to the dough along. Fold until combined.
- Use 3 tablespoon-sized cookie scoop, to scoop balls of dough and transfer to the baking trays. Space the cookies about 2 inches apart.
- Sprinkle each dough mound with a little flaky sea salt and press the reserved cranberries into the top of each. Save the chocolate for after baking.
- Bake for around 10-11 minutes until edges are starting to turn golden. While they’re still hot, add a little of the reserved chocolate to the top of each.
- Allow them to cool on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Once cool, they will firm up and be crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle
- All ovens vary – check your cookies at 9 minutes – they should look dry and ‘set’ but will still be very soft. You want the edges to just be turning golden.
- For best results, you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
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