Oh, these cookies. Where do I begin? I have now made these cookies once a week for the past 3 weeks. This is why.
Alex is a resident at a hospital out here, and whenever I bake, he brings my goodies to work. Am I ever thankful for this, otherwise I would have way too many treats lying around and my sugar levels would be out of control. A month ago, one of his attending physicians specifically asked for oatmeal cookies with Craisins. This “attending” is only at the hospital on Tuesdays. When Alex mentioned this to me, I didn’t know the attending was there only one day a week, so I was thinking, “ok, I’ll get around to making them sometime.” Well, that following Tuesday (I hadn’t made them), the attending asked where his cookies were. Oops. On my behalf, I had no reminder on Monday night that I needed to make cookies or that he was only at the hospital on Tuesdays.
The next Tuesday comes and Alex brings in my first batch of oatmeal cranberry cookies. Guess what, the attending is in Hawaii. Ok, fine, no biggie, I had leftover Craisins. So I made them again last week. Still no attending! At least I had an awesome recipe and was getting practice, but I said ok, he had his chances, no more, haha. So this week, I was making some other treats and had no time (or any more Craisins) to make a 3rd batch of cookies. Of course, the attending was there. Alex came home that night and begged me to make them one more time for Thursday(today) night’s grand rounds. I just laughed because I have never made so many oatmeal cookies in my life, specifically with dried cranberries. I really hope everyone likes them!
I found the tried-and-true recipe on Smitten Kitchen. Her site is amazing; such clear photos and good stories to go along with each post. Of course, I adapted the recipe a bit with the *necessary* Craisins. Which, by the way, don’t you think is an odd name for dried cranberries? It sounds like a Craisin should be a cross of a raisin and a cranberry, but nope, it’s just a dried cranberry.
Well, I hope you give this recipe a try. Cranberries or raisins are completely optional but they add a great extra sweetness and chewiness that you won’t regret. They can also be replaced with chocolate or butterscotch chips. If you have the time, it is quite beneficial to chill the dough so the cookies are thicker and chewier. But, if you’re in a rush, they still taste great without the chill, it just produces a crispier cookie.
Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies, adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the oats and raisins.
Chill the dough for about an hour in the fridge and then scoop it out into 1.5-inch balls, 2 inches apart, onto a parchment-lined or greased baking sheet. Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes (your baking time will vary, depending on your oven and how cold the cookies were going in), taking them out when golden at the edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool. Makes about 22 cookies.
Because this recipe uses only brown sugar, the cookies may look browner than you’d expect. It’s ok, they will still be nice and chewy!