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.