Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
Oatmeal cranberry cookies: so perfect for this time of year! Soft & tender, with a hint of cinnamon, orange zest, and white chocolate chips.
Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, I’m so excited to dive into Christmas baking!
I have a few special favorites that I make every year, like these traditional Italian pizzelle, these luscious jam thumbprint cookies, and these fudgy chocolate crinkle cookies, but today I thought I’d share a recipe that’s perfect all throughout the fall and winter season: oatmeal cranberry cookies!
These bake up so soft, moist, and tender, and they have the most delightful combination of flavors. Hearty oats, tangy cranberries, and sweet white chocolate chips, with just a hint of cinnamon and orange zest to really up that holiday vibe.
They’re quick and easy to make, and they’ll really kick off your holiday baking in the most delicious way!
HOW TO MAKE OATMEAL CRANBERRY COOKIES
To make this easy recipe, start with softened butter. Pop it into a large mixing bowl and cream it together with a combination of brown and white sugars, until very pale and very fluffy.
This will take a minimum of 5 full minutes on medium-high speed. Set a timer! The more air you whip in at this stage, the lighter and more tender your cookies will come out.
Scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl with a silicone spatula, then add your eggs. You’ll need one large egg and just the yolk of another. The extra yolk makes them extra moist and soft!
Add the vanilla as well, and mix just until it’s all incorporated.
Then it’s time for the dry ingredients. Flour, oatmeal, cornstarch (to make the cookies softer- be sure to use cornstarch and not cornmeal!), baking soda, salt, a little bit of cinnamon, and a bit of fragrant orange zest.
Mix these ingredients in until just barely combined. It’s ok if there are still a few streaks of flour- you don’t want to overmix or your cookies will come out tough.
Next come the add-ins: dried cranberries and white chocolate chips. They look so pretty together, deep red and pale white, and the flavor combination is a match made in heaven!
Give it a quick final mix to incorporate the cranberries and white chips. This should also take care of any streaks of flour from the last step!
Now just scoop out the dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets. A 1.5-tablespoon scoop makes the perfect size cookie! Here’s a link to the kind I have, I use it constantly! 1.5-tablespoon cookie scoop.
You’re going to want to underbake these cookies just slightly. Remember that they will continue to cook and firm up as they cool on the hot baking sheet.
They should be set around the edges and just beginning to turn golden, with middles that are still quite soft and doughy.
WHICH OATMEAL FOR THESE COOKIES
I like to use old-fashioned (aka: rolled oats) for all my baking because I love the heartier texture. Here’s a link: old-fashioned oatmeal.
You could also try using steel-cut oats or quick oats, but I wouldn’t recommend instant oatmeal for this recipe.
ARE OATMEAL CRANBERRY COOKIES HEALTHY?
I say this all the time: everyone has their own definition of what healthy means these days.
You probably want to check out the nutritional label in the recipe card below for more specific information, but I will say that oatmeal and dried fruit contain lots of healthy fiber, and cinnamon is great for keeping your blood sugar levels steady.
But these do contain a fair amount of butter and sugar, so indulge responsibly!
GLUTEN-FREE OATMEAL CRANBERRY COOKIES
For a gluten-free version of this recipe, look for a gluten-free flour blend that subs 1:1 for regular flour.
For dairy-free oatmeal cranberry cookies, just swap in your favorite non-dairy butter substitute. As long as the package says it’ll sub 1:1 for regular butter, it should work just fine.
For vegan white chocolate cranberry cookies, try using a flax egg or chia egg. Mix one tablespoon of ground flax or chia seed with 2 tablespoons of water, and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes until gelled.
TROUBLESHOOTING: MY COOKIES DIDN’T SPREAD?!
This is a common problem and I get asked about it often. Here are a few of my best tips for cookies that spread properly:
- Make sure the butter is softened. It should be room temperature, slightly cool but not cold.
- Really whip the butter and sugar together until very pale and fluffy. It should look nearly white. This takes a minimum of 5 minutes on medium-high speed. Seven minutes is even better!
- Measure the ingredients carefully and accurately. You don’t want to pack flour into the measuring cup, and you don’t want to be stingy with the baking soda. Here’s a guide for how to measure ingredients properly: How to Measure Ingredients for Baking.
- Once the flour’s gone in, be careful not to overwork the dough. Mix in the dry ingredients until just combined, then turn the mixer off. Overmixing will develop glutens that may cause the cookies to tighten up and not spread.
- Scoop the balls of dough to 1 1/2 tablespoons. Any larger than that, and they may spread too much. Any smaller, they may not spread at all.
- Bake the cookies off right away. Don’t chill the dough and don’t let it sit too long, or it will dry out, tighten up, and the cookies won’t spread.
- If all else fails, try upping the baking soda by 1/8 teaspoon.
DO THESE FREEZE WELL?
These cookies freeze beautifully! Slip them into a zip-top freezer bag and they’ll keep, frozen, for several months.
You can also freeze the dough. I do this often- scoop out the balls onto a tray and freeze until hard. Then transfer them to a bag and keep them in the freezer for 4 to 6 weeks.
When that freshly baked cookie craving strikes, take out a few, place them on a baking sheet, and bake them off. You don’t even have to thaw the dough first! (Pro Tip: If you decide to go this route, you might want to add a pinch more baking soda to the dough.)
If you don’t want to freeze them, know that the baked cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature. They should stay soft for a week or two.
A FEW MORE OF MY FAVORITE HOLIDAY COOKIE RECIPES:
Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
- 3/4 cup (170.25 g) unsalted butter,, softened
- 3/4 cup (165 g) light brown sugar, (loosely packed)
- 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- 1 (44 g) egg, (large)
- 1 (18 g) egg yolk, (from a large egg)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (7.39 g) vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (187.5 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (81 g) old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup (64 g) cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon (4.93 g) baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon (3.7 g) kosher salt, (scant)
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.46 g) ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon (4.93 g) orange zest
- 6 ounces (170.1 g) dried cranberries, (approx. 3/4 cup)
- 6 ounces (170.1 g) white chocolate chips, (approx. 3/4 cup)
- Place the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl, and cream together on medium-high speed for a FULL 5 minutes.
- Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicon spatula, then stir in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until completely incorporated.
- Add the flour, oats, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and orange zest, and mix together on low speed until just barely combined.
- Fold in the dried cranberries and white chocolate chips, then scoop 1.5 tablespoons of dough at a time onto the prepared baking sheets, allowing about 2 to 3 inches in between (for spreading).
- Bake until just barely beginning to turn golden around the edges (the cookies will still look quite wet towards the centers), approximately 7 to 9 minutes.
- Allow to cool fully on the baking sheet.