What Ingredients You Need for Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
Because these cookies are something I spontaneously decide to make on some random Wednesday afternoon (usually as a way to procrastinate, surprise, surprise), I want to be able to bake it right away without having to go to the grocery store to buy additional ingredients. I almost always have flour and oats in the freezer as well as sugar because it doesn't go bad. Of course, I always have some kind of dried fruit and eggs. Here is a list of the ingredients you need:
- Whole wheat flour
- Dried cranberries
- Brown sugar
- Granulated sugar
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- optional: chopped nuts, dark, milk or white chocolate chips
Rolled Oats vs Oat Flour
Use organic rolled oats. You will process one cup of the oats into a fine flour in a high-powered blender or food processor, and use the remaining rolled oats as they are.
Oats are available in a few different formats. Steel cut, rolled, quick-cooking, and instant oats are the most commonly available in grocery stores. Steel-cut oats are whole oats that have been coarsely "cut" or chopped into smaller pieces for easier cooking. Steel-cut oats are not ideal for this recipe, as they are difficult to process into oat flour in your home blender. Rolled oats are whole oats that have been "rolled" over and flattened, making them even easier and faster to cook than steel-cut oats. You can use regular or quick cooking rolled oats for this recipe.
Additional Ingredients Notes and Resources
- Dried Cranberries: For this Oatmeal Cranberry Cookie recipe, I use organic, unsweetened dried cranberries. You can use sweetened cranberries, they will just make the cookies taste sweeter, as well as change the nutritional information slightly.
- Flour. You can use any form of wheat flour for Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies. I used this brand of organic, unbleached, whole wheat flour. You can also use all-purpose flour or a combination of both.
- All other fresh herbs and produce from either the Santa Monica Farmers' Market on Wednesday, or Whole Foods Market when I can't find what I need at the farmers' market.
How to Make Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
There's this rule, see. It's like the 80/20 Rule, except I'm probably exaggerating it a little to make a point.
Sometime during my long and over-educated lifetime, I came across this statistic that despite being rather remarkable, cannot possibly have had anything to do with my education, job, or interests at the time, or any time really, which leads me to believe that my brain involuntarily recorded the seemingly random fact from one of the hundreds of dinner table lectures in which my Dad imparted wisdom that was totally irrelevant for 3- and 5-year olds like the Rule of 72, The Prime Rate, and Time is Money, but some thirty years later, would escape the confines of my long-term subconscious memory and finally be useful on a food blog in a blog post that has nothing to do with food even though it's on a food blog.
Now that was a trainwreck of a runaway sentence wasn't it?
As you can tell, most of the lessons were business and finance-related, which makes no sense because Dad was/is in the field of healthcare, but at the very least, was consistent with all of his other parenting tactics like sending me to computer camp at age 6, suggesting we wear suits with skirts that hit 1" below the knee instead of normal ooh la la, Sassoon! elastic waist jeans like all the other kids, and giving me a copy of What the Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School in the 4th grade, which to this day, I still have in my bookshelf, but have not read, just like the textbooks I bought some 20 years later when I went to actual business school. (Don't worry, Dad doesn't read my blog.)
Doesn't it totally make sense that this would come from my Dad?
80% of annual retail sales are made in the last 20% of the year.
I can say with utmost confidence that the accuracy of that percentage split is suspect if not completely pulled out of my ass, but like as we say in dieting and age discrepancies in dating, the actual numbers don't matter.
What matters is the severe disproportion that rivals (but doesn't beat) Giada's head:body. The bulk of whatever it is that's important (sales) is placed into a tiny timeframe. The real issue, though, is not that we, businesses, the economy, society in general (?!) seem to do all of our spending in a single quarter, but that we do all of our spending in the last quarter.
Of course not.
It's just the nature of this particular economic beast. No one expects anyone to pace our purchases, space out our spending, and perhaps finish at least half our Christmas shopping by June. But the significance of the last quarter is that it is a chance for retailers to assess just how little damage was done in the previous months and put that much more effort into making up for it.
The last quarter of the year is also when I seem to do the bulk of my blogging.
Well, no, it's not procrastination... for everyone else. Like retail, the food web (in general) starts every year at a slow simmer, mostly because it's recovering from the frenzy of the Holidays that have just past, and "eating food" has to disguise itself as some sort of healthy "resolution." "Food" starts to pick up steam through Spring with a few holidays that can be twisted to revolve around food, steadily paces through summer, it seems, when grilling season opens and markets overflow with fresh produce.
When we get to that last 20% of the year, bloggers launch into a full-scale fall and winter frenzy that starts with Halloween candy, accelerates through Thanksgiving turkey dinner into almost uncontrollable culinary chaos that finally comes undone after the bones from the Christmas roast are made into stock. And all of this underscored by "holiday baking" that encompasses everything from brownies for the charity bake sale to cookies for the cookie exchange with your girlfriends to homemade gifts for everyone in your office.
Just the virtue of having so much to blog about IN the last 2 months of the year isn't quite the reason for MY volatile, unbalanced blogging year. Sure, it's due marginally to procrastination, but the reality is, well, reality. There was just something that demanded my full attention All. The. Time.
So when it came down to the final weeks of 2009, it was like a race.
No, not "like" a race. It was, in fact, a race.
A harried, hare-like race to the 12:01 01/01/10 finish line of organizing and outlining and writing and publishing all those posts and pictures lined up in my mental queue that were better off left in 2009. Some of them are stories of heartbreak and healing — physically filing them away in the archives of my blog is symbolic "closure." Others are recipes (baking *ahem*) that no longer (if ever, really) accurately represent who I are. Most of the rest are events and experiences that just wouldn't make sense in the grand temporospatial continuum that is The Delicious Life if they spilled too far past the winternational date line.
This doesn't even include, you know, all those posts that are still festering in a folder labeled "2006."
I probably shouldn't have let that second week of December slip by so quietly, nor given up so easily in that third week. I compromised by telling myself that I would at the very least get Holiday, requisite Best of 2009 lists, and New Year's resolutions written in that 11th hour "dead week" between Christmas and the New Year, DO or DIE.
Surely you can guess that I did not DO.
I obviously did not DIE either, but I came close. The morning after I came back from spending three full Christmasy days with my entire family, which includes four tiny, toddler-shaped test tubes full of germs, the flu attacked me so violently, I was sure that my Dad's annual "Common Misconceptions Debunked: Cold Causes Cold/Flu," no joke, during dinner the night before was a prophecy. I was basically in a feverish walking coma for 10 days.
I didn't close out 2009 blogging anything close to 80%, not even 10%, but for now, I'm just happy to have made it here to 2010 with most of my health.
And cookies made with a fruit that Dad can add to his syllabus for "Everything Comes from China Except Potatoes and (now) Cranberries."
Can I Make Ingredient Substitutions?
- Substitute Coffee for Water. For a stronger, more dark chocolate-y flavor, substitute hot coffee for the hot water to soak the prunes. Because coffee is bitter, the Brownie Baked Oatmeal will take on a slightly more bitter flavor so you may need to double the amount of added maple syrup (or alternative sweetener).
- Substitute Melted Chocolate for Cocoa Powder. If you don't have cocoa powder, but already have some other form of chocolate on hand like baking chocolate bars or chocolate chops, you can substitute an equivalent amount of it for the cocoa powder by melting it and stirring it into prune puree. However, the sugar and fat content of the recipe will change based on the sugar and fat content of the chocolate.
More Recipes with those Gut Health Supporting Oats
- Savory Oatmeal
- Brownie Baked Oatmeal
- Fresh Plum Tart in Oatmeal Cookie Crust
Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies Recipe
- 1 cup softened butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1+2 cups rolled oats
- 1½ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- optional: ½ cup chopped nuts, ½ cup dark, milk or white chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Blend 1 cup rolled oats in a high speed blender or food processor into a very fine flour.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream softened butter with brown sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until combined.
- Sift together blended oats, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon directly into bowl with butter and sugar mixture. Stir together until well combined.
- Stir in remaining rolled oats and dried cranberries. You can add nuts and/or chocolate chips, but I didn't. I hate nuts in cookies.
- Roll heaping tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet about 2-3 inches apart. The cookies don't spread that much.
- Bake for 9-11 minutes until cookies have flattened slightly and turned light golden brown. Mine baked for 9 minutes and 45 seconds.
This cookie has all of my favorites!
Okay so maybe I'm not subconsciously stock piling dried cranberries for the Big One (see Cinnamon). Maybe I'm stock piling them to make these cookies!
Or maybe I'm procrastinating by reading your blog and coming up with inane cranberry-related comments that will ultimately require me to do 80% of today's tasks in the last 20% of the work day.
Kevin H says
I subconsciously knew she had a huge head, but it wasn't until you used the 80/20 rule to make it oh so clear to me now. But I still like her head, if not her cooking shows.
Sarah J. Gim says
Maria: add a little fried chicken skin, and it would have all my favorites, too.
Diana: I love your level of crazy.
Kevin H: how could the size of Giada's head be subconscious?! her head is ENORMOUS in proportion to her figure, rivaled only by the depth of her cleavage. She is a blowpop. With boobs.
wow. so much hate. maybe i'm just jealous :D
Kevin H says
I guess I never stared at her head lol.
I love these cookies! I first tried them when Starbucks offered them a while back, and now I don't find them as often so I make my own. .This recipe looks great! I love your pictures too, they made me seriously hungry.
I'm sorry, I mean no disrespect, but why does everybody have to put their whole life story before posting a recipe? I started to read this and thought what does all this have to do with the cookie recipe? I can understand maybe short little comments about the recipe and maybe how it came about, but all this was not necessary. I barely have time to make cookies, let alone read a biography before the cookie recipe. Again no disrespect intended. Just thought it needed to be said. All said and done, I will try the cookie recipe.
Sarah J. Gim says
Hi Liz! Thanks for the respectful question. Here's the answer, short(-ish) to be respectful of your time: Providing recipes online for many of us bloggers is our "job," i.e. the way we make a living. Some websites make money by charging a subscription, which means readers like yourself would pay actual money for access to the recipes, e.g. Cook's Illustrated, Bon Appetit, Epicurious. The majority of sites however, myself included, make money from advertisers, which means the advertisers pay me so that readers like yourself can have open, "free" access to the recipes. The trade-off is that we provide a little more "text" around which those ads can show up. You definitely don't have to read the entire thing, which is why there is a "JUMP AHEAD TO RECIPE" button/link. Hope that explains a little, and THANK YOU so much for reading and trying the recipes here! ~ Sarah @TheDelicious Life