Oatmeal Cranberry Pecan Cookies

Sometimes I need a cookie

Despite the fact that I talk about food, and sometimes post rather elaborate dinner menus, I try to keep my calorie intake to between 1200 and 1400. Since reaching this vague midpoint in life, I have to work harder than I care to in order to maintain a healthy weight. So there isn’t a lot of room in my day for sugar, meats, fats or alcohol.

I try to bake with as much whole grain as I can; I reduce the sugars to a minimum (though sometimes I go too far  – the sweetness is needed to allow the other flavors to come through.) I use a minimum amount of butter, but cookies need some fat and some sugar – it’s part of the reason I crave them. I no longer enjoy bakery or packaged cookies. The refined ingredients taste lifeless to me, and I don’t enjoy the sugar rush and crash.

An oatmeal chocolate chip recipe in Peggy Cullen’s Got Milk: The Cookie Cookbook inspires this recipe. Peggy is a friend of mine from NYC days, but even if I didn’t know her I would turn to her books for foolproof cookie recipes and inspiration. When I need a cookie, I turn to a comfort cookie, this one is just that: a chunky, slightly buttery, slight sweet, classic oatmeal cookie.

Makes 4 dozen 2” cookies

Ingredients

8 T salted butter softened (you can use unsalted butter, just remember to add a little salt! About ½ t)

½ c packed light brown sugar

4 T honey or maple syrup

1 t pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 3/4 c old fashioned rolled oats

1 c whole-wheat flour (I recommend King Arthur white whole wheat)

½ t baking soda

¼ cinnamon (or try nutmeg and/ or cardamom)

¾ cup coarsely chopped pecans (or walnuts)

¾ c dried cranberries
Heat oven to 350

In a medium bowl beat the butter, sugar, honey (or maple syrup) and vanilla until combined. Add one egg, beat to combine. Scraped down the bowl using a rubber spatula, and beat for a few more seconds. Add rolled oats. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon. Add dry to wet ingredients mixing on low until just combined. Add nuts and cranberries and stir.

I use two teaspoons to scoop and push the dough.  A well-mounded teaspoon of dough yields 4 doz cookies.

Place on ungreased cookie sheets, about 2 “ apart. – I like to use silpat-lined trays but parchment is fine.

You can flatten each mound or give it a rounder shape using slightly damp fingers.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes until beginning to turn golden. Let sit for a couple minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.
Eat them right out of the oven for a soft bite. In a few hours they will be crunchy. These are not very sweet; they satisfy the craving for a little dessert.  Great for dipping into tea or served with a sweeter dessert wine.

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About barbaraprice

Artist, Food writer, book editor, gardener
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