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Healthy Treats: Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies with Ginger

oatmeal cookies with cranberries and gingerI’ve always been conflicted about oatmeal cookies. On the one hand, I really don’t like raisins in baked goods. On the other hand, I love oatmeal cookies in theory. But they need something extra and raisins are usually that something. Well, you’ll be relieved to know my long inner struggle with oatmeal cookies is over. These cranberry-ginger oatmeal cookies are the cookies I’ve dreamt of all my life.

Sweet and rustic with a bit of tartness from the dried cranberry and just a hint of ginger flavor, these cookies are a treat kids will love, but that’s not cloying to an adult palate. The cranberries are just dried cranberries, not the sweetened kind. This is important because that contrast between the sweetness of the cookie and the tartness of the cranberry is what makes these really special.

And because they use sucanat instead of sugar, and have whole-wheat and rolled oats, they’re a terrific snack you don’t have to feel guilty about packing in the kids’ lunch, or enjoying yourself.

Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Cranberries and Crystallized Ginger
(adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten)

2 sticks butter
2 cups sucanat (or 1 cup granulated and 1 cup light brown sugar)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (I like thick cut)
1 cup (unsweetened or lightly sweetened) dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup crystallized ginger, minced

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a regular mixer, beat the butter until it is light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is well combined and quite light, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then the vanilla. Meanwhile, combine the flours, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. With mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Fold in the oats, and then the cranberries and ginger.

Scoop 2″ mounds of dough onto a cookie sheet, flatten the cookies slightly with a spatula, and then add a few pieces of dried cranberry. Bake the cookies until the edges are just starting to brown, 12 – 15 minutes. Cool briefly and serve, or keep in an airtight container for up to three days.

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