- ½ c (1 stick) unsalted margarine, at room temperature
- ¾ cup (5 oz) granulated (white) sugar
- ½ cup egg beaters
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups (7.5 oz) unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 cup (5 oz) whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup (1 oz) dried cranberries (see notes below)
- ¼ cup (1 oz) dried cherries (see notes below)
- 1/3 cup (2.25 oz) raw cashews, chopped (see notes below)
- 2 oz dark chocolate, chopped (see notes below)
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees (F).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- With an electric mixer, beat the margarine and sugar until just smooth. Then beat in the egg beaters and almond extract.
- Add the baking powder, salt, and flours and mix until just incorporated. (I started mixing with a spoon, but had to use my hands for the final minute of mixing to ensure all of the flour was absorbed by the wet ingredients.)
- Then mix in the cranberries, cherries, cashews, and chocolate. (I used my hands for this [to help ensure all of the chunks evenly permeated all of the dough].)
- Divide the dough in half and shape into two 10-by-2 inch logs. Place each log on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until just golden around the edges and firm to the touch, 22-25 minutes.
- Once golden and firm, remove the logs from the oven, and let both logs cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, reduce the oven to 325 degrees (F).
- Once the logs have cooled for half an hour, use a serrated knife to cut both logs into ½-inch-thick slices. (Do this OFF of the baking sheet. Each log should make 15 cookies.)
- Drying option #1: Stand each individual cookie up on its base (i.e., do not put each cookie on its side) back on the baking sheet, providing ample space around each cookie. Bake the cookies until dry and crisp, 15-20 minutes. (Choose this option if you want the cookies to stay their original color.)
- Drying option #2: Lay each cookie on its side back on the baking sheet, and bake 15-20 minutes. Then flip the cookies, and bake on the other side 15-20 minutes, or until the cookie is dry and crisp. (Choose this option if you want the cookies to get lightly browned.)
- Once done to your liking, remove the cookies from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Once completely cooled, store the cookies in a metal tin, and eat/share as desired.
Makes 30 cookies.
Nutritional information per cookie (approximates): 117 calories, 5 g fat, 16.5 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 2 g protein.
- If you don’t like cranberries or cherries, you can replace one with the other (i.e., use ½ cup of only cranberries, or ½ cup only cherries).
- If you like cashews but can’t find raw ones, go ahead and use any unsalted version you can locate. If you don’t like cashews, you can replace them with another nut you do enjoy. If you don’t like nuts, feel free to omit this ingredient entirely. (Note that if you substitute another nut for cashews, or if you omit nuts entirely, the nutritional information provided will change.)
- If you prefer to use semi-sweet or milk chocolate instead of dark chocolate, you absolutely can. (Or you could go crazy and even use white chocolate!) Just note that the nutritional info provided might change.
Mental Cost (ingredient availability): Very low.
Financial Cost (ingredient cost): Medium, depending on the quality of fruit, nuts, and chocolates you choose to use. Otherwise, low.
Emotional Cost (cooking skill level): Definitely medium, if not inching towards medium-high.
Time Cost (recipe preparation): High. Making these cookies is a moderate time investment.
Life Cost (clean up time/effort): Low! (I love parchment paper)
Worth It? (rate from 1-5): A solid 4, with promise of more…
Miscellaneous suggestions, insights, and/or thoughts:
For a “behind the scenes” peek into the making of these cookies, check out a post on my other blog.