Thursday, March 22, 2012

RaeAnne Thayne's Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Welcome, guest author RaeAnne Thayne! RaeAnne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than 40 romance novels, including her latest, WOODROSE MOUNTAIN, the second book of the Hope's Crossing series.

Three Random Questions for RaeAnne Thayne

You worked at your local newspaper after getting your journalism degree. What’s the most interesting story you ever covered?

Tough question! I wrote hundreds of stories and can only remember a handful, alas. That part of my life seems like another world, since I’ve been writing fiction full-time for nearly fifteen years! One that has stuck with me was a story I did on how effective music therapy can for people with dementia. I observed a woman who was basically non-responsive most of the time but when her family would hand her a violin, she would play this gorgeous, heartbreaking music. She couldn’t remember her husband of more than forty years but Bach and Mozart somehow seeped out of her subconscious.

What kinds of activities were you involved in when you were in high school?

I was very involved in drama and debate in high school. We had a great program at my high school and actually had an off-campus repertory-type theater, where we put on a different play every month of the school year and a couple in the summer. It was a great experience and taught me so many skills I find myself using today as a novelist, like dialogue and character blocking. I intended to be a drama teacher until my junior year, when I was ended up on the school newspaper staff and decided this was where I belonged. Little known fact about me, I was also the scorer for our high school baseball team and traveled with the team. My first actual professional newspaper job was as a part-time sports writer while I was still in college.

In WOODROSE MOUNTAIN, your heroine Evie Blanchard moves from Los Angeles to Hope’s Crossing in search of a more peaceful life. Is your town more like L.A. or Hope’s Crossing? How so?

My town is very much like Hope’s Crossing, except we’re not really a tourist destination (though we should be!). I live in a gorgeous small town nestled in the mountains of northern Utah. We’ve lived in two different houses in this town and in our first home, we had a pasture next door. More than once, we would wake up to find the cows next door had broken through a fence and were wandering across our lawn. The main similarity between my town and Hope’s Crossing is the quiet pace and the inherent goodness of the people who live here. They might have the same weaknesses as everyone else, but most of my neighbors are genuinely kind people.

Recipe: Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract (can omit and add one more teaspoon vanilla)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or prepare with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown and white sugars until smooth. Beat in the egg, vanilla and almond extract. Combine the flour and baking soda in a separate bowl; stir into the sugar mixture. Mix in the white chocolate chips and cranberries. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Don’t overcook. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.


  1. Not sure if this is the same recipe that I've made but everyone raves about these cookies! Yum!

  2. Hi Susan and RaeAnne,
    The cookies look great. So does the book. I really enjoyed Blackberry Summer, so I'm looking forward to this one.

  3. K-link, they are delicious! When I asked my husband which recipe I should provide to the blog, this is the one he immediately said :)

  4. Luzia, thank you. So glad you enjoyed Blackberry Summer!

  5. I'm looking forward to buying Woodrose Mountain next Tuesday, along with Susan Mallery's Barefoot Season. Music is wonderful therapy! When my grandparents were alive, both musicians, I would play my flute for them. Granddad would whistle along (he played violin) and my grandmother on the other side of my family who was an organist would hum and tap out the beat. It was great therapy for them as they were each in nursing homes. I must try your recipe! Thank you.