This week our weather here has been poor, lots of rain and just the occasional sun break. Honestly, I do like rain, but my office at work has been so cold that it’s been hard to get work done. The coldness makes me want to have comfort food and working late has made me want more comfort food. For cookies this week, I wanted something homey, which in this case means oatmeal cookies.
Oatmeal, cranberry and white chocolate is a class combination for Christmas, but it’s not quite Christmas yet. You could certainly make these for the holidays, but this is my compromise as we are getting close! The variation with these cookies is that you soak the cranberries in liqueur overnight. The original recipe calls for orange liqueur, but we didn’t have any since my husband used it for the Christmas cake. I used cranberry liqueur, which is very appropriate for this recipe.
The original recipe gives a way to speed up the soaking process, by heating the cranberries and liqueur and then allowing the mixture to sit for 2 hours. Honestly, if I have 2 hours, I likely am doing something a day in advance, so overnight was easier for me- well except for spilling the liqueur on the counter. I was worried that these cookies didn’t have enough flour, but with the oatmeal it works out. I made these dairy-free so that all my friends at work could enjoy them. Soaking the cranberries makes these cookies special, and it’s a step you don’t want to skip!
Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries and Orange
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup cranberry or orange liqueur
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening or butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup oats
4 ounces white chocolate chips
One day in advance, prepare the cranberries. In a small bowl combine the dried cranberries and liqueur. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit overnight.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.
If needed, drain the cranberries. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a large mixer bowl, beat the shortening until light. Add the sugar and brown sugar and mix on medium until light. Add the egg, orange zest, and vanilla, and mix to combine. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour mixture, then stir in the oats, white chocolate chips, and the drained cranberries.
Drop the mixture by tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned along the edges. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.