Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Plus Giveaways!)

Welcome to Home for the Holidays…Gluten-Free Style, a gluten-free event organized by Shirley Braden of Gluten Free Easily. Every day from November 28th right up to December 23rd, twenty-five bloggers (a different blogger each day) share their recipes that mean home and holidays to them.

In addition, there are also fabulous giveaways on each of those days that you can enter! Each time you enter on any of the bloggers’ websites participating, you become eligible for the grand prizes! The grand prizes are:

Click “more” for today’s giveaways and recipe for cranberry white chocolate chunk cookies, inspired by Starbucks’ annual seasonal favourite: Cranberry Bliss Bar.

As soon as I see Starbucks selling their Cranberry Bliss Bars, I know the holidays have started. I don’t really remember the first time I tried a Bliss Bar – although I remember what I was doing when I tried soy nog, another seasonal favourite, for the first time: watching Mickey’s Christmas Carol – but it’s become something of a permanent fixture in my Starbucks holiday treats, along with my favourite salted caramel hot chocolate. (I won’t be covering myself in it anytime soon, though, like Nigella over there. I actually think it would be a bad idea.)

I can still eat a Cranberry Bliss Bar, if I want to, since I’m not gluten intolerant or have celiac disease. (I started to cook and bake gluten-free, among other allergens, when my family changed our diets as part of helping my brother recover from autism, which you can read more about here and also on the FAQ page. The only time I completely skipped eating the seasonal treat was when we were all SCD and I was hardcore.) Though that hasn’t stopped me from playing with the idea of doing my own take on them for some time. I’ve had this idea since I started writing this blog, in fact.

Initially, I was just going to try to recreate the bar but somewhere along the way, the idea struck me to reinterpret it into a cookie. If I were to dress up these cookies in any way, I would do a cream cheese glaze (a nod to the bar’s cream cheese icing); making it a little messy and free form: not too far removed from Jackson Pollock, like Kim Boyce’s iced oatmeal cookies.

The cream cheese glaze should be like what you’d find on a coffee cake or a bundt cake: not too thin to completely slide off and not too thick to make it feel like a frosting. Just in the middle. (I’d use my suggestion for a cream cheese glaze from this recipe as a template.)

If you still want to make a gluten-free version of the Cranberry Bliss Bar and not cookies, check out this recipe and this one. I personally have not made either, but both look promising and the first one looks like a close contender to the real thing in appearance.

Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Inspired by Starbucks’ Cranberry Bliss Bars

The first time I made these cookies, I just used baking powder that resulted in slightly cakey cookies. If you want cookies that spread out a little more, use the baking soda. Baking powder causes things to rise, while baking soda spreads. Although there is only the slightest difference in the crumb, I generally prefer the cakier version.

While I used a combo of cornstarch and tapioca, you can use all cornstarch or all tapioca flour/starch (both names are used interchangeably) if you’re sensitive to corn; it doesn’t make a difference in taste or texture.

Makes 21 cookies

128 grams millet flour
60 grams brown rice flour
60 grams cornstarch
60 grams tapioca starch or tapioca flour (the same thing)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
72 grams (1/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened (it should be room temperature)
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large or medium eggs
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup (80 grams/3 ounces) white chocolate chips, roughly chopped into chunks

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Sift the flours, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a medium bowl.

Cream the butter with the honey with a rubber spatula and gently mix in 2 eggs. It won’t fully congeal and there will be lumps of butter, but that’s okay. Add the vanilla extract.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, a little at a time and mixed well after each addition, until it is all used. It will be a thick dough. Add the last 2 eggs, mixing well. The batter should be have a sheen to it.

Gently stir the cranberries and white chocolate chunks into the batter, setting some aside to stud the cookies with if desired. Use a cookie scoop or a tablespoon to portion the batter on to the prepared pan. Use about 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter per cookie, spacing about 1 inch apart. Stud the tops of the cookies with extra white chocolate chunks or cranberries, or both. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes (check after the 15-minute mark) or until the edges are golden brown.

Remove cookies from oven and cool completely on the pan. Once they have cooled, only then transfer them to a plate.


Click to download to your mobile device or save to your computer.


Today’s giveaways are:

1 subscription to Delight magazine

1 copy of Simply…Gluten-Free Desserts by Carol Kicinski plus Carol’s Amazing All-Purpose Flour Mix

1 copy of Gluten-Free Cupcakes by Elana Amsterdam (read my review here)

For one entry, leave a comment on this post telling me what “home for the holidays” means to you and also which giveaway item you would like to win.

For a second entry, subscribe to Z’s Cup of Tea via email. It’s easy and free, and you’ll receive new posts directly in your inbox as soon as they are published.

This giveaway closes on December 23rd, 2011 at 11:59 PM PST and is open internationally.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Thank you to everyone who entered!

Remember, any post in this series you comment on you are also automatically entered to win one of the three grand prizes! Good luck!

188 thoughts on “Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Plus Giveaways!)

  1. I would like the Delight magazine. Home for the holidays for us this year means staying home. The furthest we have to travel is half an hour away.

    I’ve made a variation of this recipe before, very yummy!

  2. These look delicious! I love the combination of white chocolate and cranberry. To me, home for the holidays means being surrounded by family and loved ones, regardless of where you are.

  3. Now that I am a parent, we no longer travel for the holidays. I really love waking up before the sun rises with my girls and watching them light up when they see the tree lit up, Christmas music playing and special gifts. Although I miss my family on these mornings, I treasure being able to create “Home for the Holidays” memories with my girls. (I would love the GF Cupcakes book. I recently borrowed it from the library and LOVE it!)

  4. Home for the holidays means my extended family come to my parents for dinner and games on Christmas Eve and then my sisters and I with our families return Christmas morning to celebrate together! I would like to win: Simply…Gluten-Free Desserts by Carol Kicinski plus Carol’s Amazing All-Purpose Flour Mix. Thanks!

  5. This has been an extremely difficult year, both for our immediate family and our extended family. “Home for the holidays” is especially significant for us this year. It means so much to gather together with family and laugh, cry and support one another. Our family has been such a tremendous blessing to us, and we are so grateful to get to spend the holidays with them.

  6. These look wonderful. Home for the Holidays, means hanging out with family and eating the food we only make at this time of year. I would love the magazine or Simply…Gluten-Free Desserts.

  7. Home for the holidays is my own home looking like a winter wonderland, baking for a month straight, sharing hugs, love and baked goods with everyone I meet and snuggling in front of the fire on Christmas morning with my loved ones. Now I’ve got another cookie to add to my list, but this one will be for New Year’s. I’d love the opportunity of having a look – see at the new magazine.

  8. Home for the Holidays means creating new traditions with my two young boys and my husband. It means bringing the best from our past and teaching it to the younger generation. Mostly singing songs together at the piano. And delighting in putting out the Nativity and decorating the tree. I am so grateful to have people in my life that understand the need for continuing traditions.

  9. Home for the Holidays means being with my family. This will be my grandson’s first Christmas and I look forward to seeing it thru his eyes! All of my sisters and my mother will also be together so I’m looking forward to family pictures of all of us!

    Your cookies look scrumptious!

  10. Home for the holidays means sleeping in! That may not sound very holiday-like, but during the semester I’m always up at ~5am, and during the winter holidays I actually get to sleep in until ~7-8am. Those three extra hours are glorious.

    Elana’s recipes are always winners, but I’d be curious to try “Simply…Gluten-Free Desserts” (variety is good, right?)

  11. Wow those cookies look tasty, I have never tried the Starbuck’s version but I bet these are tastier. Home for the holidays means good food and family for me. I would love to win a subscription to Delight magazine. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Home for the holidays to me just simply means spending time with family…wether it’s eating good food, playing games, or sitting around the fireplace talking about past holidays and memories. I love this time of year!
    I would LOVE to win Elan’s Gluten Free Cupcakes book, I’m a HUGE fan of her recipes!

  13. Home for the holidays is gatherings with friends and family, having fun and laughing! I think I would want to win the subscription to delight magazine.

    Thanks for participating!

    1. Hi Meaghan, I have never tried substituting millet flour and I’m still exploring the wide variety of gluten-free flours that can be used (I only just started using quinoa flour, for example). However, I would suggest sorghum flour, if you can handle that or find it in your area, or use more rice flour. Good luck!

  14. These look so yummy, and I’ve been trying to find more recipes with millet flour – perfect! I’d love to win the magazine subscription. Home for the holidays to me means being together with my loved ones and focusing on the birth of Christ as the best gift ever. 🙂

  15. Home for the holidays means sunshine and warmth. I am originally from Southern California but have transplanted for the time being to Portland, Oregon. I miss the sun more than anything at this time of year.

  16. Home for the holidays means my husband home from overseas! He is military and isn’t always home for the holidays.. So i learn not to take it for granted when he is home with us! 🙂 These cookies look oh so yummy! I will have to sub millet for another flour since I am allergic! Thank you for the recipe!

  17. Hi! To me “home for the holidays” means being with my sister, baking cookies and listening to the Ray Coniff Singers’ “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” album. (We used to make fun of this album, but now I don’t think it can be Christmas without it!)
    I would love Elana Amsterdam’s Gluten-Free Cupcake Book!

  18. “Home for the Holidays” means spending time with family and friends and making the special day about Jesus. I know it’s not when he was born, but it’s the time we have to celebrate his birth.

  19. Hi
    Home for the holidays to me means giant smiles & excitement on my boys faces all month long.
    I would love to win the magazine subscription. Or have that chocolate cake on the cover delivered to my door!

  20. Home for the Holidays means dropping everything to focus on family and friends! And I would absolutely love any one of these 3 prizes. I love to cook especially with almond and coconut flours so Gluten-free Cupcakes would be great!

  21. I would love to get either of the books.
    Though holidays do mean cookies to me, they also mean favorite dinner dishes, one of which is asian chicken. I think this year I am going to have to try your recipe this year (though the one for orange chicken at is a close second).

  22. Home for the holidays means spending time with family, a gorgeously decorated Christmas tree, a fire in the fireplace, and hot punch (or cocoa) and cookies while we read the Christmas story on Christmas Eve.

    I honestly can’t even choose which of these three giveaways I would prefer if I won – they’re all so amazing!! I’d be happy with any one of them. =)

    Thanks so much for the great recipe – it looks fabulous!

  23. I would love to win the Delight magazine… and the Vitamix! Home for the Holidays is sharing the warmth of the holiday season with loved ones, especially those that I don’t get to see often.

  24. I would love a subscription to Delight magazine, I’ve not seen that one before. Home for the Holidays for me this year means enjoying some relaxing time at home. After traveling a couple states away to see extended family for Thanksgiving, we are spending time at home with our own little family this time. Spiced cider, baking cookies and playing games bring it all together.

  25. I have been wanting to re-create a dairy free /gluten free version of these bars…but the white chocolate is a challenge! I ordered some food grade cocoa butter…but the first batch of white chocolate I made was NASTY…so I am still working on it…those bars are AMAZING!

    I would love the magazine subscription! I love Christmas for the yummy foods and warm times spent with my family.

  26. I already subscribe to your email and adore you!!! The magazine subscription would be amazing!

    Home for Christmas means 10 of us at Grandma’s house. The “kids” are 46, 44, 41, 39,14, 13, 12, 9, and 7. We have tons of food and work it off through laughter. Scrabble and Lego games, movies and music, and more gifts Christmas morning than anyone should be blessed with, as Grandma LOVES to shop. Her spiced punch (made with Ryan’s cider this year for us), her all green and crystal tree, her icy Snowman night light in the bathroom, and the hiding spots until Santa’s arrival that we mustn’t touch. Christmas in my child hood home with my children is precious every other year. My alternate Christmas’s at my hubby’s child hood home has more people, more peace, fewer gifts, more food than we can ever eat, and just as much love. I am very blessed.

  27. Home for the Holidays. This would have meant being at my grandparents’ house. But since they’ve both passed away, and we live in an area where we can’t leave in the winter without putting our animals and plumbing at risk, it now means making a wonderful experience for our two boys, right here where we belong (we certainly live in a beautiful place, which we chose, and we feel very much at home here). It means we are all together and enjoying each other’s company, which we often forget to do in the business of the day-to-day).

    I would love to win Elana’s cookbook, as our family is grain-free.

  28. This is kind of ironic because it is the first holiday I won’t be home with my family! But Christmas to me means baking for others and giving to others, and my family members and I are both doing that even if we aren’t together this year.

  29. Also I am really impressed that you cook and bake gluten and dairy free by choice, not necessity. Having supportive family members and friends is so important to those of us with special dietary needs. Keep up the great work please!

    1. Well, cooking and baking gluten- and dairy-free is a necessity for my brother. We don’t buy regularly buy gluten-free baked goods, though we buy Udi’s bread for him on occasion. For myself, though, and my other family members, it is by choice. In general I prefer gluten-free and generally dairy-free. Thank you!

  30. I would love to have the subscription to Delight magazine. Home for the Holiday’s means staying home and having my husbands parents come and stay for the day. It’s so much easier for them now because we finally convinced them they needed to move closer to us. We don’t have to worry about them on the road for 2 hours driving home now

  31. I will have to try these out once I make my dairy free white chocolate that is waiting to be made. This is our first Christmas being gluten free although we have been dairy free for a while longer. The holidays to me is about making sugar cookies and watching my kids decorate them any way they want. They are 2 and 5 so it takes a lot not to get involved but they are so proud of themselves when they are done.

  32. Hmm, home for the holidays means being around friends or family and sharing yummy food! This year, it will have to just be friends, since the family is across the country…

    GF Desserts would be my top pick, but they all look so good!

  33. I would love to have the Delight magazine. Home for the holidays….reminds me of the long trips we used to take to go to my parents’ home–singing carols all the way!

  34. Home for the holidays actually means being with friends who I can share the warmth and laughter of the holidays with.

    I’d LOVE the gluten-free cupcake book so I can make some for friends and share recipes with my friend who LOVES to make cupcakes!

  35. subscribed! And I can actually make these since I have MOST of the ingredients. I would like to try it with coconut oil and dark chocolate instead of white as I am (mostly) dairy free.

  36. Love this recipe! For me, home for the holidays means spending quality time with family and friends.
    I would love to win any of these prizes, but my first option would be the Simply Gluten Free deserts book. The cupcake book is a close second.

  37. Home for the holidays means spending quality time w/ all family & lots of laughs & great food. It’s actually a stress free time for me b/c we’re all close, don’t fight much, & I can be myself w/ them.

  38. Home for the holidays this year is literally that — I moved to Chicago a few months ago, so I’m heading home (tonight) to Cleveland for Christmas.
    And I’d love to win Elana’s Gluten Free Cupcakes!

  39. Those cookies sound incredible! I love cranberry white chocolate cookies, so am intrigued by this gluten free version. Home for the holidays for me is being wherever the people I love are. Having the time to really enjoy being with friends and sharing something special. 🙂 I would love the Gluten Free Cupcakes book.

  40. Home for the holidays means special time with my family. I would love to win any of these prizes, but if I had to choose one it would be the Gluten Free Cupcakes book. Thanks for this cookie recipes, they look delicious!

  41. I would love to win the Delight magazine, it looks terrific!

    Home for the Holidays to me is so many different things. Dreaming of future children, dreaming of Christmas day, decorating every part of my house from top to bottom in red and gold…. Mostly, I love spending time with family and friend. My husband and I usually host my family Christmas party, his cousin’s Christmas party and a friend Christmas party, we also go to his mom’s to celebrate Christmas and we also make a day of decorating her ancient acrylic tree.

  42. To me, “home for the holidays” means getting to spend time with family and dear friends. It doesn’t matter where you are celebrating or what you are doing, what makes a place a “home” is who you are with.

    I would love to win the Delight magazine subscription!

  43. I would love any single one of these prizes! Don’t care which 🙂
    Home for the holidays for me means multiple nights of candlelighting with my children, playing dreidel, and making latkes at least twice, in at least two different homes!

  44. Home for the holidays for me is having my children and their spouses and my two grandaughters over for Christmas Eve dinner. I would love to win the magazine subscription. Thank you for the recipe and giveaway.

  45. Home for the holidays means Christmas music and my Christmas tree. I love listening to music while just looking at the lights and ornaments on my tree.

    I’d love to win any of these prizes – they all look great! Ultimately I’m shooting for the Vitamix!

    Thank you for the recipe!!

  46. Home for Holidays — my husband and I are literally heading home for a few days to spend Christmas/Hanukkah with our families and I am so very excited!!!
    I’d happily win a subscription to the mag, or of course, either of the cookbooks is great.

  47. Decorating with my family, trying new recipes, going to the candle light service at our church, and singing carols are all part of what makes Christmas extra special for me. These cookies sound yummy!

  48. Home for the hoildays means spending time with the people I love! Eating, laughing, giving gifts and celebrating Jesus.
    I would be THRILLED with any other giveaways but I think Simply…Gluten-Free Desserts would be my first choice.

  49. Home for the holidays to me means family, friends, and good food.

    As for the giveaways, I would like to win the magazine subscription.

    Thanks for sharing your recipe and have a happy holiday! 🙂

  50. Home for the holidays means spending time with the people I love who are closest to my heart. I would love to win the Gluten-Free Cupcakes book….oh, and the Vitamix!

  51. “Home for the holidays” means taking myself away from the everyday routine and being around my family without any worries.
    My choice for the prize is the book “Gluten Free Cupcakes”.

  52. I’d love the Simply GF Desserts book (or the subscription to Delight, as I already have both of Elena’s books). The holidays mean family and togetherness to me. Just being together and having fun without doing much of anything. Love it!

  53. Home for the Holidays means to spend good quality time with my whole family. It helps us all remember what matters most in life =) This recipe and giveaway is awesome! Thanks =)

  54. Home for the Holidays means being with family, where ever that might be. I would love to win 1 subscription to Delight magazine! Thank you for sharing your recipe, those cookies look delicious!

  55. Hi, The holidays remind me of my childhood and time with family. I love playing Christmas songs at home and in my car. I decorate right after Thanksgiving. I love to bake to. I would like to try the Delight magazine. Never seen it before.
    Merry Christmas.

  56. For me ‘home for the holidays’ means making a family out of wherever I happen to be. For this holiday it means I get to see my mom! (And I’d want to win the cupcake book!!)

  57. I cant wait to try these cookies. I will be off to the store soon! home for the holidays means being with all of your family at one time. And eveyone is usually happy!. I would love to have the Delight magazine.

  58. To me, “Home for the Holidays” means being with family – whether we’re laughing, eating, or just hanging out! I would love Carol’s book – I love her website and have been wanting her desserts book!

  59. Home for the holidays means enjoying my two young children and my husband, while cooking delicious meals that are GF safe!
    I would like the Delights magazine

  60. I’d love to win the Delight magazine and the Simply GF desserts. The Delight Magazine is on my latest post as “wish” item! Home for the holidays….we just moved, so we are trying to make NM our home, but we stay home with our family to enjoy a delightful glutenfree, stress free christmast rather than visit family who doesn’t understand Glutenfree and tortures my kids. It’s good.

  61. so great. i am going to subscribe. not sure if i’m in time for the giveaway but being new to the gluten free lifestyle, i am trying to learn all i can and this looks like a great addition to my blog library. thank you. and thanks for the opportunity if i am in time.

  62. These cookies look amazingly yummy. I adored the cranberry bliss bars, but had to give them up. Thank you for creating such a nice substitute!
    I’d Love to be entered for the magazine subscription.
    Home for the holidays to me means doing all the fun things I did as a little girl with my little girl – who is just at that age of pure joy in the holidays, and learning herself what the holiday spirit is all about.

  63. Home for the holidays means having a warm, relaxing, unhurried holiday with loved ones, focusing on the things that are important!

    I would love to win Elana’s cupcake book! 🙂

  64. Home for the Holidays means spending time with family! Going to see my lil sis and bro-in-law. Will be missing everyone else!!!!!
    I would love to win the delight gluten free magazine subscription 🙂

  65. I have been very blessed in my life to always have been “Home for the Holidays”. I spent every Christmas with my family and there is no other way I could imagine spending it! By the way this recipe looks delicious, I love the starbucks cranberry bliss bars!

  66. Home for the Holidays means spending time with family! We love to hang out and enjoy each other’s company. It’s fun now that we kids are having kids, so traditions are passed on and some new traditions are made. I would especially love the magazine subscription. I love paging through new recipes and “cooking” up new eating delights.

  67. “Home for the Holidays” for us, means getting up early Christmas morning and watching our girls unwrap their gifts by the lit tree….all in the comfort of our pajamas.

    Of the giveaways listed, I’d love the Delight GF magazine!

    Christy M

  68. For me, home for the holidays means spending time with all of my family! I would love to win either simply gluten free desserts or gluten free cupcakes!

  69. Thanks for the awesome recipe! This year is the first in 10 years I’ll be “Home for the Holidays,” and able to help make our traditional tamales. I’d sure love to win Carol’s cookbook and flour mix.

  70. Home for the holidays means extra special, festive time together as family, enjoying each other and delicious food. I’m anxious to try these cookies – thank you! I would be most interested in the magazine subscription.

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