This time of year, I always have a hankering for some really good cookies. Maybe it's the permanent chill in the air, or all of the festivities around, or just a general holiday cheeriness, but when I get into the kitchen the first thing I want to do is get to work on some holiday cookies. Cookies are the perfect thing to have around for the holidays, when family is visiting, you want a quick sweet treat, or you want to dole out handmade gifts. They came in so many varieties that it's impossible to ever tire of them, and they're pretty to boot!
To honor this wonderful time of year, we thought we'd share a couple of simple, tasty holiday cookie recipes. We'll start with these, because while they're "red" (cranberries) and "white" (white chocolate), they don't necessarily look the part of a holiday cookie. But fear not - if you served these to your holiday guests, they'll probably still be asking you next July to make them again and again and again.
This recipe has so many layers of flavor, which makes for an out-of-this-world flavor. They aren't really pretty or nicely decorated, but they taste fantastic, and that'll certainly go a long way. The recipe starts with browned butter, so already there's a depth of flavor that isn't present in a regular oatmeal cookie, and oats, whole chocolate chips, and dried cranberry get added in. I even used half dried cranberries and half dried cherries to bump up the flavor another notch.
This recipe makes a lot of cookies, but is also simple to split in half. I made a half recipe for the cookies in these photos, and they worked out beautifully.
Tell me, what are your favorite holiday cookies?
Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies barely adapted from Simply Recipes
Ingredients 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1 cup brown sugar, packed 1/2 cup white granulated sugar 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 Tbsp water 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips 1 1/4 cup dried cranberries (or dried cherries, or a combination) 3 cups Old Fashioned rolled oats (not steel cut or instant)
Directions Start by browning the butter. In a medium-sized thick-bottomed saucepan, place both sticks of butter, and heat to medium. Heat butter until completely melted, whisking frequently. Your butter will foam up initially, but that will subside, and eventually brow bits will start to form on the bottom of the pan, and the butter will smell nutty. Remove from heat, and pour butter into a bowl to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, and cinnamon to incorporate. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°F, and grease two large cookie sheets, or line them with silicon mats or parchment paper.
Pour the browned butter into the bowl of a mixer, and add both sugars. Beat on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is smooth. Add eggs and vanilla, and continue to meat on medium speed until smooth and light, about three minutes.
With a spatula or wooden spoon, stir the dry ingredients into the butter sugar egg mixture. Stir in 2 tablespoons water.
Add the white chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and oatmeal. Stir to incorporate.
Using a small cookie scoop (or a tablespoon), portion out cookie dough onto the cookie sheet, leaving a couple of inches between each cookie. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until they are just starting to brown around the edges, but are still soft in the center. The cookies will firm up as they cool.
Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the cookie trays, before transferring to a wire rack. Allow them to cool completely. Once cooled, these cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for a few days!