Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pomegranate Face-Off

It's officially the holiday season!  (What?!)  I cannot believe it's already here, yet I'm welcoming it with open arms.

I love this time of year.  The time of year right after Thanksgiving, leading up to Christmas.  It's the absolute best.  People are in the cheeriest of moods, there is an excuse to play holiday music around the clock, shopping malls are decked out with wreaths and lights, and you get to spend time with those you love the most :).

So, to officially kick off the holiday season, I decided to try out a new recipe.

My aunt texted me last week asking if I had a good pomegranate cookie recipe, and honestly, up until that point, I'd never thought of adding pomegranates to cookies at all.  Naturally, I was intrigued.  I decided to try out a recipe when I came home for Thanksgiving break.... and I hit a crossroads.

I found recipes using white chocolate chips, and some using semi-sweet.  I didn't know which direction to go in, so I decided to do both!  And call it a face-off :)

Fun fact: Did you know that a pomegranate seed is called an aril?

I didn't... until about 30 minutes ago.  See?  The things you learn from baking... so educational!

Anyways, I took a standard chocolate chip recipe and decided to mix in some oats to give it more texture.  I split the dough in half, adding white chocolate chips to some and semi-sweet to the other.  I mixed in some arils, baked them up, and put them to the test.

Seeing as it was a face off, I needed judges.... aka I made my family try them and give me their opinion.

And the winner is.....

The White Chocolate Chips!

To be honest, my natural inclination was to go with the white chocolate chips because these cookies kind of reminded me of a craisin/white chocolate chip combo-type of cookie.  One cool thing about the arils that my mom noticed, is that once you bake them in the oven, the seed itself becomes a lot softer and isn't as crunchy (like it is when you eat a pomegranate raw).  How interesting!

In the future, if/when I make these again, I'd definitely add more arils and chips.  I wasn't generous enough this time around.  If you're not really a white chocolate fan, you can sub out the chips altogether!  Maybe instead add some lemon juice, make it a more zesty, fruity cookie?  Who knows.. endless possibilities! haha.

Well, all in all, I'd say this was a successful face-off.  The semi-sweet put up a good fight (they still tasted delicious!), but in the end, the white chocolate chips better complimented the arils.

I'd say this pomegranate white chocolate cookie is definitely one for the holidays, and I've included the recipe I followed below!

Happy Baking!

Pomegranate White Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup oats
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup pomegranate arils

Preheat oven to 375F.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together.
Add egg and vanilla; mix until combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, soda, and salt together.
Add flour mixture to wet ingredients; mix until combined.
Stir in oats and white chocolate chips.
Either stir or incorporate arils into dough with hands.
Form dough into balls and place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until edges of cookies are lightly browned.
Remove from oven and allow to cool before transferring to wire rack.
Bakes about 2 dozen cookies.

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