Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

Well, it’s finally here – Christmas week! It’s really snuck up on me this year. It’s going to be a busy week – shopping, wrapping, baking, cleaning – but with Christmas music playing in the background and holiday decorations everywhere, it’ll be fun! I had a hand in selecting my Christmas gift from Shane this year and I can’t wait to post about it here at the end of the week. In the meantime, I’m still trying to settle on cookies for my cookie trays so I’m trying a few recipes out at the last minute today.

Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

These cookies are adapted from an oatmeal raisin cookie recipe from Baking Illustrated. Those cookies are wonderful, but I really wanted to do something that would incorporate cranberries, to add both color and variety to my cookie trays this week. I simply subbed the cranberries in for the raisins and then, to make the cookies just a bit more festive, I melted some white chocolate and drizzled it over the cookies. Though white chocolate isn’t my favorite, I really think it pairs well with cranberries. These cookies are pretty big, but the recipe indicates that making them smaller will result in them being dry and more cake-like. When made as directed, the cookies are chewy, but more crispy and chewy than soft and chewy in my opinion. Delicious, either way!

Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

Chewy Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
adapated from Baking Illustrated, by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped
white chocolate for drizzling (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Place oven racks in the lower and middle positions. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy. Add both sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time beating to fully incorporate

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg, then stir them into the butter-sugar mixture with wooden spoon or large rubber spatula. Add the oats and cranberries, if using, and stir to distribute.

Form the dough into sixteen to twenty 2-inch balls and place them on the prepared baking sheets. The cookies will spread so leave at least a few inches in between the dough balls. Bake the cookies until the edges turn golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking time from front to back and top to bottom. Transfer the cookies (still on the parchment paper) to a cooling rack. Let cool at least 30 minutes.

If desired, melt white chocolate (or any other chocolate you wish!) either over a double boiler or in the microwave at 50% power in 30-second bursts. Once cool, transfer the chocolate to a resealable bag, snip a corner and drizzle the chocolate over the cookies.

Makes about 16 to 20 cookies.