I have a confession to make. I am a cookie monster. This is a hereditary affliction- I got it from my father. Cookies tremble before our ravenous lust for their sugary innards (and outards). Ok, perhaps that’s a tad dramatic. The bottom line is that I like cookies a little too much. For this reason, I do my best not to make them unless I have people to give them away to. I try to save myself… from myself.
Luckily, now that I am blogging about baking, I have an excuse to make all the cookies I want, and a willing group of test subjects to feed them to in the form of the people my husband and I work with. For this particular experiment, I wanted to make a lemon cookie that didn’t need to be rolled out (rolling dough frustrates me because I don’t have much upper body strength). Oatmeal seemed like a good companion, and when the idea to replace the standard raisins with dried cranberries hit me, I knew I was onto something. I started with Quaker Oats’ Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies recipe, then adjusted it to fit my vision.
But enough talk, time for cookies! You will need the following ingredients:
For the cookies:
- 14 Tbsp. unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks), softened
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 medium lemons
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 3 cups rolled oats (you can use quick or old-fashioned, it won’t make much of a difference)
- 1 cup dried cranberries
For baking ambiance (optional, but strongly recommended)
- Your favorite glam rock album. I went with a Pandora station seeded with The Sweet because I was too lazy to nurse my cd player into working, but I would suggest Best of Sweet or Sweet Fanny Adams by The Sweet or Electric Warrior by T-Rex. Queen is always an excellent choice, but I recommend saving them for something really indulgent and velvety.
Ok, enough about glam rockers. Let’s gooooooooo!
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Combine the flour, baking soda, ground ginger, and rolled oats in a medium mixing bowl, and mix until all the ingredients are well-distributed. Set this aside.
Rinse and dry your lemons. Grate (or zest) the outer layer of the peel, stopping when you reach the white part. This should give you approximately 2 tablespoons of zest.
Juice your zested lemons and reserve 2 tablespoons of juice. Now temporarily set aside you lemon zest and juice.
Combine the softened butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl (again, I am using my stand mixer, but you can use a hand mixer or wooden spoon). If your brown sugar has hardened, as it tends to do once you open a new package, check out my tutorial on softening brown sugar. Beat the butter and sugars until they are well-combined and creamy.
Now add the reserved lemon zest and juice, eggs, and vanilla extract to the bowl and beat until well-combined. Don’t forget to scrape the edges of the bowl to make sure you aren’t missing anything.
Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. I suggest doing this in shifts to make it easier to fully combine everything.
Stir the dried cranberries into the batter.
Line your cookie sheet(s) with aluminum foil or lightly grease them with butter. Form your batter into golfball-sized balls and arrange on your cookie sheet with approximately 2″ between them (you’ll notice that mine are closer than that; that’s because I like to live on the edge).
Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, or until the tops begin to brown. I prefer my cookies light and chewy, so you may want to bake them a little longer than I did.
Let your cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely (I use this one). In the spirit of full-disclosure, I almost always eat one cookie while it is still hot as lava right out of the oven, but I do not recommend doing this, unless you feel like burning your mouth. Give it a little time, I promise they will still taste good.
Download the PDF recipe here: Lemon Cranberry Oatmeal Cookie Recipe