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Perfect Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

I may be going out on a bit of a limb by saying this is the perfect oatmeal cookie recipe, but this is the second time I’ve used it and it really is so dang good.  The first time around I made 80 cookies for a business presentation in my class and substituted chocolate chips, and they disappeared real quick.  This time some tart dried cranberries (unsweetened) made their presence known right amongst some warm, cosy nutmeg for a perfect chewy, crunchy cookie that tastes like winter and happiness rolled into one.

Even carrying three weeks’ worth of laundry down to the car, driving all the way to the laundromat, and finding out that it closed early can’t ruin the sunshine these cookies bring to my life.


Real life, guys.

Perfect Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies (adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook)

  • 1/2 C unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 C packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 C white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 C whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/8-1/4 freshly grated nutmeg (add more to your taste)
  • 1 1/2 C old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 C dried unsweetened cranberries (or any fruit would work)

I have been loving the intense tang of unsweetened cranberries in my sweet treats lately–I added them to these popcorn snack bars last week to rave reviews.  Since they can be hard to find unsweetened, I slow-dried a bunch of fresh cranberries in the oven myself when they were on sale after Thanksgiving, and stuck them in the freezer until now.  A quick healthy way to watch the added sugar!

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugars together for a few minutes, then add the egg and cream until light and fluffy.

Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Stir in the oats and the cranberries.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick mat.  I used a heaping tablespoon for each cookie, which got nicely rolled:

and flattened with the palm of my hand.

Since I only have one Silpat mat, I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to compare parchment paper with the nonstick mat, since a few things I baked on the mat didn’t turn out the way I liked, and I wasn’t sure if the recipe or the mat was to blame.  I recruited a testing partner:

Back for 18-20 minutes until the edges start to turn a bit brown.  They’ll feel under baked and crumbly at first, but they’ll set in a few minutes–leave the cookies on the cookie sheet to cool!

The perfect oatmeal cookie.

They disappeared ridiculously fast fresh out of the oven–Fritz ate three or four of them right off the bat and I may have had one or two.

As for the baking mat/parchment paper comparison, there wasn’t a huge difference.

The cookies on the Silpat spread a bit more evenly and seemed to crisp a tiny bit more on the bottom, which I preferred, but the difference was slight.  Not worthy of a picture comparison.

And I’m not kidding when I say Henry stole a cookie right out of the cookie jar–I (stupidly) left the top off the jar while they finished cooling, and found him a few minutes later polishing off the remains of a cookie he had dragged onto the living room carpet.

Speaking of the little monster, we caught him red-handed (pawed?) this morning.  He likes to hide behind our bedroom door and wait for Fritz to walk by in the hallway so he can swipe through the crack of the door at his feet.  Fritz noticed him lying in wait and motioned to me to grab the camera.

Good night!

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.fullmeasureofhappiness.com/2012/03/03/perfect-cranberry-oatmeal-cookies/


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  1. sandy

    great blog. Keep it up – but also get enough rest to get well.
    If you need to rest up – we all understand.
    Can’t wait to try these cookies.
    Thanks for all the great recipes and pictures.
    Henry is a hoot.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      Thanks–I’m feeling better already after a few days of naps and low-key activity!

  2. Hannah

    Oh Henry! (hmm..good name for a candy bar) I think he lies around your apartment thinking of ways to stave off boredom. He does need a friend (you better find a tough little kitten). I also love the mug :)

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      some totally awesome lady gave me that mug 😉

  3. Tasha Orshoff

    My Mom made some like these and used chopped dried apricots and they were soooo delicious, I ate 3 and I am not much of a sweet or cookie eater.

    Love the cat pictures! So cute! I don’t think he will be happy if you bring home another cat.

  4. Jen

    Your testing partner is adorable. I remember our cats doing the same thing. You walked into the bathroom still halfway asleep and unaware of the little monster that was about to bit you in the heel.

    The oatmeal cookies look very tempting and I like to use oats in my cooking. It may be the inspiration I needed this morning. Thanks.

  5. Megan

    Love the photos as always! These cookies sound wonderful. Do you think it would be okay to thaw cranberries that have been frozen and then dry them myself in my oven? Do you have tips for oven-drying cranberries? I, like you, can never find unsweetened and love your idea!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I think you could definitely do that. I dried mine at a low temperature…probably around 200 or so for a few hours. be careful not to burn them, and i put mine directly on a baking sheet but i think that putting them on parchment paper will save you from a mess!

      1. Megan

        Thank you :) I am all about saving from a mess, I parchment paper or foil whatever I can! 😛

  6. Alexis

    Hi Lauren!
    I’m back from Barcelona now and settling into my new college apartment.

    I’ve been making these cookies a lot: http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipes/10870
    They’re fabulous butter and egg-less oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips! Instead of using 2 cups of walnuts, I used 1 cup walnuts and 1 mashed banana. These cookies are wonderfully moist and the fact that they’re egg and butter free, makes you eat more ! I’ve made these cookies twice in the last month for my carnivore college friends and they DEVOURED them in 24 hours. They’ve been asking me for the recipe, so I just thought I’d pass it along if you’re up for a new recipe :)

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      thanks! I’ll definitely try it!

  7. Lou

    Awww, Henry is adorable. Should you ever want to get rid of him and send him across the pond, I’ll adopt him gladly. <3

    Never been such a big fan of oatmeal cookies (had an unfortunate experience with them when I was I child), but yours look so good…! I might even give them another chance… :)

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      so very curious about what that unfortunate experience might entail!

      1. Lou

        Oh, there were those oatmeal chocolate cookies from IKEA that I loved very much when I was five or six. So much that I once ate an entire one pound box of them on my own and then, of course, threw up. :/ I’ve been avoiding them ever since…

        But maybe it’s time for a new start… 😉

  8. Danguole

    I love a good oatmeal cookie–with whatever additions I happen to have on hand… I think my favorite so far was dried tart cherries and dark chocolate. These look gorgeous and mighty tasty!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      that combination sounds to die for!

  9. Annie

    You had cream pictured in your ingredients and directions, but not in the recipe. How much cream should I use?

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I believe that is white sugar you see (on the right?) no cream involved!

    2. Lauren Zietsman

      I get it! When I say “add the egg and cream” I meant cream as a verb not a noun! Sorry that’s definitely confusing thanks for pointing it out!

  10. Marta

    Wow! I’m so happy that I found your blog. Beautiful photos and amazing recipes. I will follow your page:)

  11. Megan

    this recipe seems very easy to go by, i plan on making these for my bofriend. i was wondering how long they lasted (seeing as i am sending them to him) and (about) how many this recipe makes? thank you

  12. Claire

    I just made these and they’re delicious. I replaced the butter with vegan margarine and the egg with a flax egg, and they still tasted amazing and stayed together and soft and chewy. My only problem was that they burned on the bottom after only 14 minutes. Still amazing though.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      Maybe turn the heat down a little bit, or switch the pans halfway through?

  13. Rachel

    haha 352 Fahrenheit?

    1. Lauren Zietsman


  14. Dave

    I just found this recipe by the grace of Google. My grandma had a recipe she knew by heart very similar to this recipe. I add 1/4 t of Ginger and 1/8 t of cloves to the recipe as well. These are GREAT cookies with some chopped nut meats and different fruits. Golden raisins and Cranberries are a good combination.


  15. Kim

    Hi – I want to try this recipe but didn’t see cream in the list of ingredients but see that it is mentioned in the description. Can you tell me how much cream/type is needed?

    thank you!

    1. Kim

      Oops – I see that someone else mentioned this and you cleared it up – thanks!

  16. Magdalene

    Just tried out this recipe and they were PERFECT!! First time making oatmeal cookies because I wanted something festive for Christmas. Added chocolate chips and some orange zest too. They were super good and not too sweet. Thank you! :)

  17. Dee

    And they say cats don’t have a sweet tooth lol…my boy Moji practically mauled me once for a cranberry meal cookie (a store bought one – these are much better)

  18. MaRecipes

    There is a big pack of cranberry in my fridge, gonna try this out! Looks good and healthy!

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