There is a home video of me as a little girl in which my family is decorating Christmas cookies. Apropos of nothing, I look at my father, who is shooting the video, and say very loudly “I like ice cream and Christmas!” We weren’t even having ice cream at the time. I was just proudly stating my favorite things I guess!
That statement was as true then as it is now. This is my favorite time of year. The weekend after Thanksgiving is always a flurry of activity for me: putting up the Christmas lights, hanging decorations, listening to holiday music, and getting a jump on all the baking I want to do this season.
I like to make a variety of things this time of year, including cakes, muffins, scones, candy, and more, but there are always lots of cookies.Cookies are traditional for the holidays and there are lots of great recipes to try. But I also happen to be married to a devoted cookie lover. Making him delicious cookies is one of my favorite things to do!
These are inspired by a recipe from Nigella Christmas, a must have for anyone who loves Christmas, cooking, and baking. In it she says she adds dried cranberries to lots of holiday recipes, even though they are available all year round, because they are festive. I agree with her – cranberries, whether dried or fresh, add “Christmas spirit” to any recipe. And the white chocolate in these is the perfect sweet vanilla accompaniment to the tart cranberries.
Cranberry and white chocolate is a great combination, however, you can really make these with any dried fruit and chocolate chips you like. I’ve made these with dried sour cherries and bittersweet chocolate chips and loved them just as much!
Cranberry & White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 9 tbsp (1 stick plus 1 tbsp) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries (or cherries, or other dried fruit)
- 3/4 cup white chocolate chips (or bittersweet chocolate chips)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and oats with a whisk. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine butter and sugars and beat until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
Slowly add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Add dried fruit and chocolate chips, and mix until blended. I prefer to hand mix at this stage, to make sure everything is evenly incorporated.
Line two baking sheets with a nonstick liner (like Silpat) or parchment paper. Scoop dough into small balls (about 2 tablespoons per ball), and place them 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake just until cookies are pale gold, about 15 minutes. Cool the cookies on the sheet for 5 minutes (they will be too soft to move), then transfer to a wire rack to cool fully.