To some, January is a month of making resolutions. Seeking a renewal in spirit in the pursuit of denial, they deprive, deprive, deprive for the “greater good.” That’s fine and well if you are a sadist, but I’m getting too old for that sort of thing.
I’d rather take a page out of Julia Child’s book, leaning more toward “everything in moderation, including moderation.” Want to eat healthier? Who doesn’t! Instead of breaking out in a sweat at the mere thought of walking past the donuts, eclairs, cakes, and cookies while shopping for your spinach and broccoli, why not take matters into your own hands and revamp your cookies for a treat you can eat without the unnecessary shame game? Works for me!
Oatmeal lends itself well to a moderate dessert, being not only a heart-healthy option, but one that transitions well from the breakfast table to desserts. Add to it whole wheat pastry flour, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, and a little bit of raw sugar, and you’re doing pretty well. So well you can manage some high quality white chocolate morsels. A little bit of sweetness to balance the cranberries, without being too indulgent. If there is such a thing.
These turned out somewhere between crunchy and soft cookies. If you’d like them softer, bake for less time or don’t flatten the mounds. Crunchier? Thinner dough and/or more time in the oven should accomplish that nicely. I’d guess that they last for 3 days packaged in an air-tight container on the counter, but I couldn’t tell you for sure–mine are nearly gone in less than 24 hours. If you’d rather spread out your sweets, you can always freeze them for up to 3 months. Portion control achieved!
- 11 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ⅔ cup raw (turbinado) sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats)
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup white chocolate chunks or chips (the real deal–not artificial junk)
- ¾ cup chopped toasted pecans
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Take out 2 nonstick baking sheets and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with a hand mixer (you can also use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment) until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs until well incorporated.
- Add the oats, flour, baking soda, and kosher salt, beating until well mixed.
- Stir in the dried cranberries, white chocolate, and pecans.
- Using a medium cookie scoop, portion out the dough, 6 cookies per tray. Flatten slightly with the back of a spoon or your fingertips.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned on the edges.
- Let rest on baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
You may have noticed something unusual in the method for this recipe–the recommendation to use a hand mixer. While I almost never used my hand mixer before, preferring my workhorse 6-quart KitchenAid for most jobs, through the generosity of my boss and his wife, I had a little splurge money to use at Sur La Table recently. I decided to upgrade my cheap-o hand mixer of unknown vintage to a Cuisinart 220 watt, 7-speed model–in metallic pink! People could hear my squeals of delight 7 blocks away, I swear! Upon arrival, I needed to put this pretty princess to the test–so I threw cookie dough at it. Not something I would normally make with a hand mixer. Penelope (that’s what I’ve chosen to name her) was up to the task, surprising me with her brawn I turned her on and at the lowest speed, I almost lost her–she was that much more powerful than I was anticipating. I didn’t have to get above speed 1 at any point in the process (though I did push her to the next level, just to see what she had in her–WOW!). Did I need a hand mixer? Nah, my old one was limping along just fine. Am I sorry I got her? Nope! I will surely make more excuses to pull out Penelope and give her a good workout!