Monday, January 20, 2014

Cranberry, Maple, and Oatmeal Cookies

For those of you that don't know, my dad is an avid cookie connoisseur. Lunch, dinner (and sometimes even breakfast) usually consists of the normal meal followed by at least three cookies. You really could call him the cookie monster. He would be flattered.

He prefers his cookies loaded up with "the good stuff," aka: chocolate chips, coconut, oats, nuts, dried fruit, etc. So loaded up, in fact, that the cookies rarely ever become cookie shaped...they remain more like little dense balls of goodies with some dough in between.

When I came across this recipe, courtesy of Tate's Bake Shop's Baking With Friends I was a little apprehensive because, besides the basics needed to make the dough, there really are only three other ingredients: cranberries, maple syrup, and oats. That's not a lot of goodies. But I loved the idea of putting the tart cranberries into the cookies so I decided to give them a try. If the cookie monster didn't like them, then more for me right? Well let me just say, they are AMAZING. They are perfection in every way an oatmeal cookie should be. Chewy and moist and homey. With that little zing of cranberry. Yum. The original recipe calls for unbleached flour, but I'm trying to cook and bake with more whole grains this year, so I substituted whole wheat flour. You can't even tell the difference! These cookies are the perfect winter treat, if I do say so myself.

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (I like Bob's Red Mill)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks salted butter, at room temp
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (I only had "Honey Creme" in my pantry, but it was DELICIOUS)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries (or whole fresh cranberries for a more tart flavor)
1 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, salt, and baking soda. In another large bowl, beat the brown sugar, butter, and maple syrup with an electric mixer until well combined. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Using a spoon, stir in the oat mixture, just until combined. Mix in cranberries and pecans.

2. Drop about 2 tablespoons of dough about 2 inches apart onto baking sheets.

3. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges and still slightly soft, rotating the position of the baking sheets halfway through.

4. Try your hardest to wait 5 minutes while the cookies cool and set.


They're really addicting, so just a fair warning, you might eat about half the batch in one sitting. Which is fine. Because winter clothes are designed to expand anyway.

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