I’ve had an awesome weekend full of great friends, good movies, and some much-needed down time. Kevin’s been in Atlanta this weekend, and so Fulton and I have enjoyed going on runs together and just laying low a bit. I got to spend time with some of my favorite friends, which always makes for a successful weekend. Plus, I got to see THREE awesome movies that I highly recommend AND try a new cookie recipe. Whoa. Lots of good stuff crammed into two days.
First some quick movie shout-outs and then on to the cookies:
The Lunchbox: Rotten Tomatoes scored this flick at 96%, so I had confidence going into it that it was going to be solid, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. This Indian film stars Irrfan Khan, who you’ll recognize from other wonderful films like The Life of Pi, The Namesake, The Darjeeling Limited, and Slumdog Millionaire. It’s a story about unexpected friendship and support in a time when two people desperately need to be seen, valued, and understood. I highly recommend it!
Begin Again: This is a movie I want to see again as soon as possible. (Anyone in Winston who wants to go, let me know! It’s still playing at Aperture…) In fact, I’m listening to the soundtrack on Spotify as I type this post. The music is incredible, the storyline is captivating, and it’s just a well-done film. (After all, it’s written/directed by John Carney, the magic behind the 2006 music-based film, Once.) See it if you can, fo sho.
Drop Dead Gorgeous: This movie’s not a new one, I know (1999, to be exact), but it’s one of my absolute favorites and a film that managed to slip through the cracks a bit. It was one of the earlier mockumentaries, and features a stellar cast including Kirstie Alley, Kirsten Dunst, Denise Richards, Ellen Barkin, Allison Janney, Brittany Murphy, and Amy Adams. Please see it if you haven’t. I’ve yet to share this movie with someone who hasn’t liked it. (In fact, I watched it today with three friends who hadn’t seen it and it was a hit. One friend ordered her own copy on Amazon while we were watching it. How’s that for an endorsement?)
Okay! Time for the sweet stuff.
Typically, I associate cranberry cookies with winter and wintertime holidays, but I wanted to try a new cookie recipe and my friend Watson (who has a knack for finding amazing things for me to bake) suggested I look for a cranberry cookie recipe. So I did, and stumbled upon this one, which turned out to be pretty darn delicious, I must say. Cranberry cookies are officially non-seasonal, as far as I’m concerned!
Ingredients (for cookies)
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup dried cranberries
Ingredients (for filling)
- 2 cups white chocolate chips
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons milk
Directions (for cookies)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, line a large baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper, and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon, and set aside.
- In a mixer, beat together the butter and both sugars until smooth, then mix in the egg and vanilla.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
- Stir in the oats and cranberries.
- Roll dough into Tablespoon-sized balls and place them on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes (or until light golden brown).
- Let cookies cool completely before adding the filling.
Directions (for filling)
- While the cookies are cooling, make the white chocolate buttercream filling. Place white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30-second intervals until the chips begin to melt. Then stir and repeat, heating chips 10 seconds at a time to avoid burning, until completely melted. Stir until chocolate is completely smooth.
- Place butter in a mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until fluffy.
- Beat in the melted chocolate, vanilla, milk, and half of the powdered sugar until creamy.
- Slowly beat in the remaining powdered sugar until smooth. (If frosting is too stiff, feel free to add more milk to thin it out a bit.)
- To make the sandwich cookies, spread white chocolate buttercream filling on the inside of one cookie and top with another cookie.
- Store cookies in an air-tight container at room temperature.
NOTE: You will probably have extra filling, but no worries — it keeps in the fridge for about a week so you can use it with another recipe or whip up another batch of these later in the week.