The weather in Charlotte is finally getting cold (wooohooo!). Any time I see the low temperatures dip into the 30s, I start to do the happy dance—I’m a rarity, I know, but I don’t think I’m the only crazy, winter-loving girl out there. One of the many, many reasons I love winter is that it’s the perfect time to snuggle up in cozy threads and take pleasure in warm and hearty meals and desserts.
My favorite cookie recipe to bake and enjoy this time of year are my cranberry oatmeal white chocolate chip cookies—consider them chocolate chip cookie’s more mature, tasteful, and holiday-friendly cousin. The cookie, in thanks to the oatmeal, is both crunchy and soft/gooey, and the combination of the white chocolate with the cranberry is captivatingly mouth-watering. It’s definitely one of those cookies that will leave you craving more. In addition, the cookie is pleasing to the eyes with the touches of red from the cranberry and white from the chips, making it an exemplary holiday treat for either Thanksgiving or Christmas (but don’t let the holidays trick you, I bake these cookies year round).
The first word I ever spoke was “cookie”, so I’ve always taken this dessert very seriously. I’ve been baking variations of cookies for almost 20 years now and I’ve definitely learned a few tricks of the trade. For starters, room temperature butter and eggs makes a huge difference because the softened butter reacts better with the sugars. Consequently, the dough is much more creamy/smooth, which leaves you a soft cookie with a crispy finish (I let my butter and eggs sit out for at least two hours before baking). I also get physical with my baking: I slam the baking sheet down on the counter a few times as soon as I take the tray out of the oven. It allows the cookies to collapse a bit so you have a more condensed and ooey-gooey cookie. If I don’t think the slamming of the tray has done the trick, I take a spoon and lightly press on the cookie. I’m also a salt freak, so I tend to add a bit more salt to cookie recipes because I love the sweet and salty combination. And lastly, I find that recipes with a higher ratio of brown sugar to white sugar results in richer, softer, and better tasting cookies.
In conclusion, I think it’s important to note that I’m a firm proponent of the idea that if there is oatmeal in a cookie, it is completely acceptable to eat one (or three) for breakfast.
Cranberry Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip Cookies
-2 sticks of butter, room temperature
-2 eggs, room temperature
-1 cup brown sugar
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
-3 cups of oats (I used quick oats)
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 ¼ tsp salt
-1 tsp baking soda
-1.5 cups white chocolate chips (I had to use non-chocolate white chips for this batch as my grocery store didn’t have any real white chocolate – but both taste wonderful!).
-1.5 to 2 cups dried cranberries (if you love cranberries, I suggest 2 cups).
-Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line one to two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside (I find baking one sheet at a time results in a more evenly baked cookie)
-In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix well and set aside.
-With either a hand mixer or a standing mixer, combine the sugars and butter until well blended and creamy.
-Add each egg, one at a time and continue to mix until creamy.
-Pour in the vanilla and continue to mix.
-Slowly pour in the flour and mix until well incorporated.
-Add the oatmeal to the mixing bowl and mix until well blended.
-Pour in the white chocolate chips and cranberries and continue to blend until the ingredients are evenly incorporated. The picture below is what my finished dough looked like.
-Measure out about a tablespoon of dough and place on the parchment paper/cookie sheet.
-Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes (times will vary depending on oven)
-Once the cooking time has elapsed, take the cookie sheet out of the oven to cool. I slam my sheet down to let the cookies settle a bit. Sounds crazy, I know, but I like the look of a flatter cookie.
-Let cool and enjoy!