Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cookie Crazy

There is really only one tradition in my family when it comes to Christmastime. And that is my beloved Peanut Butter Balls. They are a sweet reminder of many, many happy Christmases past. I make them at least once each holiday season, and in fact just took them to a party last week. But when Mep of Not to Brag asked me and two of our other beautiful friends, Heather and E..., to be a part of a virtual cookie party, I thought it might be time to try something new.

As my now no doubt nervous in-laws are aware, I have a penchant for trying new dessert recipes. Unfortunately, my ability to create these masterpieces is severely outmatched by my desire to pick the most complicated and obscure recipes available. The year of the pumpkin flan comes to mind. It is to their credit that at each holiday event of the past 7 years, they have gamely nibbled on my creations. And not once have they made gagging noises or spit anything out, even though I am quite certain that they have all wanted to on at least one occasion. Even my husband, who is a human garbage disposal of food has on occasion been less than complimentary of my efforts. Which means it was BAD. So for this challenge I was really determined to make something that was not especially complicated and more importantly, tasty.

I looked over my cupboard and with a distinct aversion to the idea of a trip to the grocery store on this cold evening, I found a recipe that made use of the materials I had on hand. Which as it turns out, weren't so meager as I had feared. I was able to produce two ingredients that are favorites of mine, and most amazingly, in a quantity adequate for my needs. Specifically: white chocolate chips and cranberries. And with the discovery of some quick oats on the top shelf, I knew I was on my way.

White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats (not instant
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 6 ounces white chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. In a large bowl using an electric mixer combine the sugar, brown sugar and butter; mix well to cream together. (I used my Kitchen-aid stand mixer for the whole process. I don't know how I lived without it.)
3. Add in egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
4. Add the cinnamon, baking soda, salt and flour and mix well.
5. Fold in the oatmeal, dried cranberries and white chocolate chips - making sure that all ingredients are uniformly distributed.
6. Drop teaspoonfuls (or roll into balls, but that is quite messy and doesn't make a discernible difference) about 3 inches apart onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes, just until the edges are lightly golden.
7. Remove from oven and let cool for 2-3 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer cookies to cooling rack.

I wish you could see the nice little red cranberries that accent this cookie, but that color just doesn't show up well.

They came out a little crispier than I was expecting. That might be due to the pan I used. It might be due to overcooking. It might be that I used light butter. Really, none of that matters because these cookies are HEAVENLY. They are exactly the right mix of crispy and chewy. When I set the plate down in front of Neil, he said "looks good" in a non-committal way. I can't blame him. But after one bite, he was making yummy noises and proclaimed them "damn good!" Which is a far cry from the usual "fine" that passes for high praise in this house. 

I definitely recommend giving them a try, I just know these little beauties will be crowd pleasers! Enjoy!

And be sure to visit Mep, E... and Heather to see what yummy confections they made!


  1. Damn girl, you got a "Damn good"!! Thank you, thank you for making these cookies because now I can make them too. Yesterday at the grocery store, prompted by some vague yearning for an oatmeal based cookie, I bought some old-fashioned oats. When I got home, I realized the recipe I was considering (on back of the craisins bag) called for quick oats, which I already had. I'm ramblings, but great minds think alike, and your cookies sound so good to me right now. If only we could eat cookies while our kids played (i.e., ran wild). Merry Christmas!

  2. Your penchant for trying difficult recipes makes me think of that episode of Friends when Rachel makes the trifle with lady fingers, custard, jam and beef sauteed with peas and onions, and rather than tell her she screwed up they all suffered and ate it. :)

    That cookie recipe sounds delicious. I may just have to try it...

  3. YUM! These look and sound delicious! Definitely gonna try this not so difficult recipe :)

    Maybe next year, if we plan it well ahead of time, we can do a REAL cookie exchange...give the ole Fed Ex guys some business.

  4. YUM. We are in love with craisins around here, so these would go over well. And maybe I wouldn't eat the entire batch myself! I am cringing at the amount of butter I have ingested this month.
    Fun to do this little exchange!!

  5. You had me at white chocolate. And my husband at cranberry. And the kiddos at cookie. Looks like this will be made in the next three days at our house! =>

  6. Oh, how yummy! I am most certainly going to give this recipe a try! Thank you!

  7. Oh yum! These remind me of those Otis Spunkmeyer (sp?) cookies! I love those! I'm the same way with trying new stuff. I've about given up because it never comes out right. lol. My perception of my ability to cook is creator than the reality of it. ha ha ha! Merry Christmas!

  8. How much butter? 1/2 cup? 1/2 stick? 1/2 tub?

  9. We are away from home this holiday season, but I am looking forward to trying this recipe out when I get home. Thanks for sharing.
    BTW, I thought about you when we were driving through Baltimore last week.
    Merry Christmas.

  10. mmm...unfortunately neither chips nor berries in the cupboards, but I'll keep this post in mind! I have a tendency lately to undercook I know what you mean!

  11. Crazy admission time..I'm not a fan of white chocolate. (Yes, yes add this to my long list of food dislikes.) But I wonder with all the other goodness in there does it even matter? They look delicious anyway!

  12. Crazy admission time..I'm not a fan of white chocolate. (Yes, yes add this to my long list of food dislikes.) But I wonder with all the other goodness in there does it even matter? They look delicious anyway!


Give me some sugar, baby!