I don’t know how far you go back with Anchorage’s 5th Avenue Mall, but I go way back to the olden times before iPhones, when I hung out there as a tween for entertainment. Back then, the food court felt new and fancy, and it always smelled like Mrs. Fields cookies. A craving for those famously underbaked, extra sweet and buttery Mrs. Fields white chocolate chip cookies is what started me down this cookie road. Then I decided to dress them up a little for the holidays by adding some cranberries spiked with orange liqueur. They make a very nice little present tied up in a cellophane bag with a bow.
This recipe is customizable. Add a half-cup of chopped macadamia nuts if you like or a half cup coconut flakes. Or both! Sub in cherries instead of cranberries. You can use bourbon or rum instead as well. If you want to make them gluten-free, I suggest subbing one-third oat flour and the rest a cup-for-cup GF flour blend like Pamela’s or King Arthur brand. Another important point is not to bake them too long. Don’t be afraid to pull them out looking a little under-baked, they’ll set up as they cool, giving you that perfect late-’80s mall cookie texture.
Boozy cranberry-orange white chocolate chip cookies
Makes 24 cookies
½ cup (1 stick) soft salted butter
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons Grand Marnier
1/2 teaspoons orange zest
1½ cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
½ cup white chocolate chips
¾ cup dried sweetened cranberries
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat butter at medium speed for one minute. Add sugars, beat until fluffy. Add egg, liqueur and zest and mix, scraping sides, until well combined. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. With the mixer running on low speed, gently shake the flour combination into the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Add cranberries and chocolate chips and mix at a low speed to combine. Scoop dough onto a cookie sheet with a 1½ teaspoon cookie scoop. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes, and remove when they still look slightly under-baked. Allow them to cool on the pan for 10 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.