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Mucho Gusto

Anju’s Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

This is the fifty-fourth installment in Mucho Gusto, a recipe initiative by and for students to help connect us through food in times of isolation. If you’ve got a recipe you think would make a great addition, reach out to us!

The tragic story of the cookie platter: the chocolate chip and the traditional sugar cookies are immediately devoured as the oatmeal lies at the periphery of our vision. Ultimately, the narrative is scripted with the sentiment that oatmeal cookies are an old crowd-pleaser that no longer carry the same adoration. When’s the last time you’ve heard someone at a dinner party say, “Finally, it’s time to bring out the oatmeal cookies”? 

So, speaking of oats, they’re easily accessible and heart-healthy, but are they also terribly out of date? Archaeologists propose that oats were cultivated around 4000 years ago, so it simply could be their time to dissipate from the culinary currents. However, a rejuvenation of oats appears to be far more likely to occur, illuminating that “vintage” can be appreciated once again.

If you subscribe to the food trends, you’ve seen coffee creamer be upgraded to oat milk, and traditional oatmeal finding itself revamped in the form of overnight oats. With the versatility of oats re-emerging in the spotlight as more than a forgotten, gooey breakfast meal, it raises the question, “When will be the time for the oatmeal cookie recipe to be refurbished?” Will the contemporary oat movement come to a halt for the cookie, or will the recipe be patched and reintroduced, becoming the new go-to when you have oats in the kitchen cabinet?

As my friend Anju gave to me, I am passing on this chocolate-cranberry oatmeal cookie recipe that promises to have oatmeal cookies competing for your indulgence. These oatmeal cookies will not be placed in Tupperware or forgotten as leftovers, but rather, will be the first picked off the plate. Of course, the cranberries can be substituted with raisins if you’d prefer to follow the more traditional oatmeal cookie route. However, the cranberries effectively capture the autumnal design that begs to be baked and enjoyed as Thanksgiving springs around the corner. This recipe will unapologetically take away from your supply of breakfast oats in a strategic turn for a delectable dessert. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon hot water
  • 12 ounces chocolate chips
  • ½ – 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 375℉. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a larger bowl, cut the butter into 1-inch cubes and lightly warm in the microwave or, preferably, remove the butter from the refrigerator, allowing it to soften for 10 minutes at room temperature. If you choose to microwave the butter, be careful not to heat it for too long; you are looking for a soft but not melted consistency. Next, cream the butter with an electric mixer on its lowest speed setting or whisk by hand until you see the fluffy texture that is desired. Add in the granulated and brown sugar, eggs, and water, one at a time while stirring between additions. Be sure to mix the ingredients together thoroughly before bringing in the next steps. Then, add the ingredients left in your medium-sized bowl — the flour, baking soda, and salt —  to the rest of your prepared ingredients in the large bowl. Fold in the oats, chocolate chips, cranberries, and vanilla extract. The thick rolled oat flakes in adjacency to the chewy cranberries compete for delicious taste and texture in every bite. The suggested amount of dried cranberries is ½ – 1 cup as they can be added to fit your preferences. As you mix, be cognizant of having an even distribution of the dry ingredients in the batter. Then, roll the batter into 1-inch balls in the palm of your hand and evenly place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Once placed in the oven, bake for 8-10 minutes, and then allow time for them to cool. Enjoy!

Image courtesy of Modern Honey

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