For most people, the holidays automatically mean it’s cookie season. The aroma of freshly baked cookies and the heartwarming sensation of eating warm cookies right out of the oven can’t be beat. Hence, now is the time we start digging out our favorite recipes from last year and start baking in preparation for all of our social gatherings.
Here’s a recipe that was a holiday favorite with the customers I enjoyed at The Spice Rack, the bakery/bistro I once owned. The cookies are a holiday “twist” from the standard oatmeal raisin cookies. The addition of orange flavoring and sweetened dried cranberries makes them perfect for any holiday occasion. AND they’re easy to make! No mix needed. Here’s my recipe…
Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Cookies
Makes about 4 Dozen Cookies
8 oz (1 cup) butter (No substitutes, please!)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange extract
1 tsp dried orange zest
10 oz (2 cups) all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cups oats (quick or old fashioned)
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
In a mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugars. Blend in eggs, extracts and orange zest; set aside. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and cinnamon. Blend the flour mixture into the butter mix. Stir in the oats and sweetened dried cranberries.
Drop by scoopfuls or heaping teaspoons onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Bake at 350F for about 11-12 minutes, until slightly underdone (when allowing cookies to cool on the baking sheet).*
Store in an air-tight container or wrap tightly and freeze until needed.
Tip: Removing the cookies from the oven while slightly under-baked allows them to finish cooking on the hot baking sheet as it cools. This will help prevent them from being over-baked and become too crisp or dry.