No matter what kind of baker you are, or how regularly you pull out your flour and butter, having a great chocolate chip cookie recipe in your arsenal is a must. And when that go-to recipe also includes dried fruit, coconut, and a lot less butter than comparable cookies, well, you can pull it out to share with family and friends for almost any occasion. This recipe for Coconut, Cranberry, and Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies, which features all of the flavors that you love in a chocolate chip cookie but also includes a few ingredients that make it almost healthful, is a favorite in our house. We love to share them, gift them, and eat them on Sunday afternoons curled up with a few good books.
I love this cookie recipe primarily because the end result tastes so good, but there are other aspects that make it one that I turn to again and again. Here are a few:
- It comes together in one bowl, so you won’t feel like you’re washing dishes for hours after you’re done baking.
- They somehow only require 1/2 of a stick of butter, which seems amazing compared with the other chocolate chip cookie recipe we make regularly which uses 2 sticks.
- The inclusion of dried fruit, coconut, and oats makes them chewy—but the butter and sugar ensures that they also have crisp edges. It’s the best of both worlds!
- The batch makes plenty to share or keep on hand for a while since they store nicely. This batch filled 2.5 quart-sized mason jars, so we were able to gift some to friends for the holidays (and enjoy some in our own house).
I didn’t change much about this recipe from the original apart from leaving out the walnuts and doubling the dried fruit. I used dried cranberries instead of cherries since that’s what my local store had, but the results are really similar, so use what you like best. (You can also use raisins or snipped dried apricots or dates.) You may also want to add a bit more chocolate than the recipe calls for, but I’ll leave that executive decision up to you.
Find the full recipe for Coconut, Cranberry, and Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies right here.
On a recent snowy weekend, my daughter and I made a batch of Oatmeal Jam Bars to make the most of the cozy day—and to share with friends who joined us for an afternoon play date. We love this recipe because it’s easy to put together and each bite has a nice mix of fruitiness and buttery flavor. We made just a few adjustments to the original recipe, but we’re definitely bookmarking this one to make again this winter.
It’s been a while since I made bar cookies and I forgot how easy they are to make. There’s no rolling, cutting dough, or portioning out balls onto a cookie sheet. So simple!
The base of these bars is flour, oats, cream cheese, and butter, which makes a really soft dough of sorts. You simply press it into the bottom of your pan, so it’s fun to do with a little helper. I cut the brown sugar down from 1/3 cup to 1/4 cup and used strawberry preserves—the Smucker’s strawberry Fruit & Honey—instead of raspberry based on my family’s preference. There was plenty of sweetness in the final bars, so no one missed the missing sugar. I also added a little vanilla extract to the dough to boost the flavor a bit. It was a really nice pair with the lemon peel that’s in the crust as well.
These Oatmeal Jam Bars bake up in just over 30 minutes and possibly the hardest part was waiting for them to cool completely before cutting them. I used two spatulas to lift the whole batch out of the baking pan and then sliced them easily on a cutting board. I was impressed by how well the crust held together. We enjoyed them with a little steamed milk and may have had the leftovers for breakfast the next morning with coffee—they are sort of like a fancy fruit and grain bar, after all!
Whether for a cookie exchange or just a snowy afternoon, your family will love these Oatmeal Jam Bars. Get the full recipe here.
Raise your hand if you like to be the star of your cookie-exchange party! Katie here, piping in on a topic near-and-dear to my heart: Christmas parties. This time every year I go to an all-girls super-bakers show-off-your-stuff evening (Translation: A cookie-exchange party). We always ooh and aah over the variety: Creamy ganache-dipped cookies, lip-smacking salty nut bars, minty peppermint-topped goodies…and we always secretly want the pat on the back fora job well done.
This year, I came prepared. I’ve been eyeing this Chocolaty Melting Snowman recipe since I first grabbed it from our Christmas Cookies 2012 magazine; and it’s proven to be one of the top recipes of all time on our site.
It’s also ridiculously easy! You can follow the recipe or start with your favorite cookie, as I did (I’m a sucker for peanut butter cookies and wanted to make a favorite). I went with this Peanut Butter Cookie recipe. Bake and let cool completely:
For the snow, I microwaved almond bark with a little vegetable oil per the package directions. Drizzling is so much fun! I tucked a towel under my cooling rack and spooned on the good stuff:
While still melty, I added the top hat:
And an orange-sprinkle nose:
Then I let the “snow” set before adding black dots with a small tube of frosting:
And voila! You’ve mastered the cookie-exchange with your oh-so-cute Frosty. This recipe is a keeper—I’d love to make it with my kids someday!