Friday, March 2, 2012

Cranberry Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

I would call these "breakfast cookies," but I'm not sure what actually constitutes a breakfast cookie. What I do know is that these cookies are awesome, some of my favorites. And you can actually "healthy them up" a little bit if you want to.

What You Need:
3 1/2 cups flour*
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup margarine, at room temperature**
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs (large), at room temperature
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 1/2 cups toasted quick or rolled oats
1 1/2 cups pecans (or walnuts), toasted and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries

*You can substitute 1 - 1 1/2 cups ground oatmeal for 1 - 1 1/2 cups of white flour if you want to. (You know, to make it healthier.) See below for more information on how to do this.
**If you read this blog, you know I'm a huge fan of butter for everything. However, in cookies like these and other oatmeal cookies, I like to use half butter and half margarine. I find that it makes the cookies softer. All margarine doesn't give me the buttery taste I love, and all butter makes the cookies too crunchy. I go for half-and-half.

Yield: about 6 dozen 2-3" round cookies

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Spread oats on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Toast the oats for about 6-9 minutes, stirring with a spatula halfway through. Oats will become golden and fragrant when they are ready.
Toasting oats takes maybe an extra 10-15 minutes when you factor in the cool-down time, but it's SO worth it. It makes everything made with oats taste that much better.

When the oats are toasted, toast your nuts the same way. Place them on a rimmed baking sheet, and cook them at 350-degrees for about 5-7 minutes until they darken a little and become more fragrant. Again, toasting the nuts makes them taste ten times better. It's worth every one of the extra 10 minutes time.

Now, if you want to substitute some ground oats for some of your white flour (I wouldn't recommend replacing more than half of the white flour or the cookies lose a little of their softness), toast about 1 1/4 cup of extra oats to equal a cup of ground oats. Take the toasted, cooled oats, and grind them fine in a cleaned coffee grinder. (If it smells too much of coffee, you may want to skip this, because that coffee taste will come through, unfortunately.)
**In addition to making it a teeny bit healthier by taking out some of the white flour, adding the oat "flour" gives the oats an even richer flavor.

Okay, now... you're all toasty. Time to make the cookies. (Finally!)
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, ground oats (if you're using it), baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In the mixing bowl, cream together the butter, margarine and both sugars.

Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix until creamy and smooth.

Add half of the flour mixture, mix until all flour is incorporated.

Add remaining flour mixture, mix until incorporated.

Add oats, nuts and cranberries. Mix until evenly distributed.

Refrigerate dough for 20-30 minutes to help keep the cookies from spreading too thin in the oven.

Using a cookie scoop, or a Tablespoon, drop cookies onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake at 350-degrees for 8-12 minutes. You don't want these to get crispy or very golden. They should be just done when you take them out of the oven.

You can also make a cherry-almond variation. I use dried tart cherries and slivered almonds instead of cranberries and pecans. I reduce the vanilla to 1 tsp. and add 1/4 tsp. of almond extract. I also leave out the nutmeg.


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  1. These look yummy! I might have to try them out on my boys. We love all things oaty and they, in particular, have a real thing for cranberries at the moment.

  2. I work for Bass Pecan Company and every year they have a recipe contest where you can win $1000. You should check it out!! If you like baking with pecans this is perfect for you Bass Recipe Blog


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