Whether you think of these cookies as cranberry-studded drop cookies or (as we prefer) honey drops of cranberry goodness, consider them your welcome letter from fall. They're perfect for slipping into a back pack and nibbling later in the day with a steaming cup of coffee.
Keep your eyes open at farmers markets for jars of local honey. These sugarless cookies make an ideal showcase for strongly-flavored honeys like buckwheat and tupelo, as well as honeys with fruit blossom flavors like apple and orange.
Drop cookies are called that because they are made from a looser batter and literally dropped by the spoonful onto the cookie sheet for baking. We like pillowy tablespoon-sized cookies, but you can go larger or smaller as you prefer. Just adjust the cooking time to match. As soon as the edges start to darken, your cookies are done.
Cranberry Honey Drop Cookies
Adapted from The Household Searchlight Cookbook, 1931-1946
Makes about 24 cookies
1 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 egg, beaten
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 3/4 + 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Put the cranberries in a small bowl and cover them with very hot or boiling water. Let them sit and plump while you prepare the rest of the dough.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, thoroughly combine the honey and the softened butter. Mix in the egg and the spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 3/4 cup of the flour, the baking soda, and the salt. Gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stirring just until no more flour is visible.
Drain the cranberries. In the bowl used for the dry ingredients, toss the cranberries with 1/4 cup of flour. Fold the cranberries into the cookie dough. The dough will be fairly wet and very smooth.
Drop tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto a cookie sheet, spaced about 2 inches apart. The cookies will spread a little during baking. Bake 9-13 minutes, until the edges are turning golden. let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
And of course, everything is better with chocolate. If desired, melt a handful of dark chocolate and drizzle it over the cooled cookies.
Related: Honey Butter: Perfect with Popovers
(Images: Emma Christensen)