Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, I am very happy to move on from the typical desserts that reign supreme for that holiday. After making pumpkin cheesecake a total of 5 times over 2 weeks, it’s safe to say that I am bidding adieu to anything pumpkin and now embracing Christmas desserts like cookies and chocolate. Even though I’m over making pumpkin cheesecakes, there’s just something so irresistible about having a chocolate cheesecake for Christmas dessert, which I’ve done for the past two years. I might give you the recipe in a few weeks if you guys want it! Let me know.
To me, Christmas time is all about the cookies and every year I try to make as many varieties as I can. Plain chocolate chip, peppermint bark, rosemary shortbread, cashew butter balls… I love ‘em all. One of my favorite things to do as a gift for friends and family is to make about 4 types of cookies and stuff these cute little bags with them. It’s a great idea since it’s such an easy gift but much more personal than a gift card or bottle of wine. I totally recommend doing it, even if you just fill them with seasonal store-bought cookies.
Today’s cookie recipe, Salted Oatmeal, Chocolate Chunk and Cranberry Cookies (a mouthful, I know), are sometimes part of the mix that I give out. I like that they’re a step up from a standard chocolate chip cookie because of the addition of oatmeal and cranberries, which gives them an amazing chewy texture. Furthermore, the cranberries add a nice Christmas touch with the bright red color, and you could even step it up a bit further by adding pistachios.
You’re going to look at the ingredients and be like “oh dear lord… 2 sticks of butter… so much sugar… 3/4 a lb. of chocolate??!”. But don’t fret. Each batch makes A LOT of cookies - roughly 30-32, and this is all fine and well because these will all be gifted/given away or made for Christmas parties. Right?? But if that’s not the case, you can easily cut the recipe in half. There are some tricky measurements to divide by two (3/4 cup would be 6 tablespoons, for example), so here’s a nice guide to follow if you get stuck.
I want to give you some advice on these cookies because something odd happened to me earlier this week when I was making them for the blog. For the first time ever, I decided that I was going to make the cookie dough ahead of time (the night before), so I could get a jumpstart on baking them the next day. When I went to bake them, they all came out of the oven burnt on the sides/bottom, yet still not baked on top. It was so weird/upsetting, and I had to throw them all away which I hate doing. After some research and double checking that my oven temperature was correct, my baking soda was fresh, and that I didn’t screw up the ingredients, I came to the conclusion that it is definitely not necessary or required to chill the dough. So, all I can suggest is either baking off the cookies immediately, OR, if you need to chill it, flatten the cookie dough mounds after you have scooped them out onto the baking sheet. This may cause the cookies to spread more, but at least it will bake evenly.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk and Cranberry Cookies
Yields about 30 cookies
Recipe adapted slightly from Ina Garten
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cup old-fashioned/rolled oats
12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chunks
1 cup dried cranberries
Flaky sea salt, to finish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Using a hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, turn the mixer on low, and add the vanilla extract and the eggs, one at a time . Mix until combined and scrape the bowl again.
In a separate medium-sized bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Mix in the oats. Add this mixture to the other bowl (creamed butter and sugar bowl), and mix on low until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks and cranberries.
Using a spoon or a cookie scoop, scoop out 1-2 tablespoons of dough for each cookie and drop them onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are set and the cookies are nicely browned. Allow to cool on the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Enjoy!