I love oatmeal cookies! Do you like them with raisins or without? I'm definitely in the without raisins camp - pretty much the only dried fruit that I don't like. I'm also super particular about my oatmeal cookies in general and I will only use one recipe - the original Vanishing Oatmeal Cookie from Quaker Oats. I often update the recipe by adding different ingredients - toffee, chocolate chips, walnuts, peanut butter chips, etc. instead of the raisins (you can really add whatever you like).
I decided to make a quick batch with a little Valentine's appeal for my grandparents - the outcome was Pecan, Cranberry and White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies. They were so delicious and super easy to whip up in no time at all.
Pecan, Cranberry, & White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups uncooked oats
1/2 - 3/4 cup dried cranberries (apricots or cherries would be great too)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (if your pecans are not roasted already, you might consider roasting them quickly in the pan before mixing them in - it will bring out the flavor)
1/2 - 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
Note: The amounts for the mix-ins are very general, add as much or as little as you like - the more you add in, the more lumpy your cookies will be. You will also stretch the dough and make more cookies. Coconut would also be wonderful here.
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars until creamy. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a 2nd bowl.
2. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined dry ingredients and mix well. Add oats, cranberries, white chocolate chips and pecans and mix until fully combined (Note: if you are using a mixer, make sure you add the last step [oats, cranberries, chips, etc.] by hand or else you risk chopping them up).
3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
4. Bake 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown. I like mine with just a hint of brown (a little chewy inside) - if you like them crisper, bake a minute or two longer. This recipe makes about 4 dozen - I always bake a test sheet first to figure out exactly how long I need to cook them as they come out a little different each time.
5. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets, then move to a wire cooling rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.
I just mailed these cookies to my grandparents - I used an air-tight, plastic, sort-of cheesy heart-decorated container to hold the cookies and lined it with glassine paper. I know I have mentioned this stuff before - but it is so great. The glassine paper is basically food-safe wax paper - it doesn't get greasy at all and comes in so many great colors.