Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Maple Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries & Pecans

Maple Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries & Pecans
It's that time of year again. The time of year when I start planning what cookies I'll be including in this year's packages. Like I did last year, I plan on simplifying the process because my life has become much too full for the days of arduously decorating hundreds of cookies, one by one.
Because baking is where my mind is at these days, when I was asked to review a new cookbook by Kathleen King, the founder of Tate's Bake Shop, it felt like kismet. I'm a big fan of Tate's chocolate chip cookies {I even made them here} and as selective as I am about acquiring new cookbooks, I'll always make an exception for a baking book I can get years of use from. Baking for Friends is that kind of book.
Baking with Friends
While this book doesn't have a photo for every recipe and I tend to prefer cookbooks that do, it has just enough to keep me interested in reading further {yes, I read cookbooks}. It's actually funny because of all the recipes in the book that had a photo accompanying them, I chose to share one here that didn't. For me, that's just further proof that all I'll need is an occasion to bake something to make the next one...or maybe I won't, as her cookbook even has a section full of healthy desserts.
Something I really love about this collection of recipes is that there's certainly more than enough to please everyone. If you'd love simple and classic recipes for birthday cakes, breakfast baked goods, brownies, or holiday pies this cookbook has you covered. Yet for the creative foodie in the kitchen, she's also assembled plenty of desserts with an unusual spin on them, containing ingredients that intrigue me, and make me want to haul out the Kitchenaid. Adding candy canes to chocolate chip cookies, bacon to scones, cardamom to cake, or chocolate to butter ball cookies.
And if you're by chance one of those strange people that don't like impossibly thin and crispy chocolate chip cookies, like Tate's, you'll be happy to know that the book also features a recipe for "Chubby" Tate's.
Mix Ingredients
For me, the first recipe I wanted to try is the one featured here - Cranberry, Maple & Oatmeal Cookies. I know it's my second recipe post in a row with "cranberry", but it was the second word in the title that truly sold me. It must be from all the trips I took to Vermont as a kid, but I have a deep, dark love for maple syrup and so do my kids.
I changed the wording in the recipe title for my post, mainly because the real star of this oatmeal cookie recipe is the maple syrup flavor and the soft, chewy oat texture. My kids would have been happy to leave it at that, but I added in the cranberries and pecans to try the recipe as written. I found they balanced the cookie perfectly, as maple syrup is so sweet they really need that tart bite once in awhile {unless you're a kid, in which case they don't}. You could certainly try your favorite oatmeal cookie additions as well, such as raisins, or walnuts.
Cranberries & Pecans
Baking for Friends is such an appropriate title for this time of year when you think about how many people are beginning to do just that. I think this recipe would make a perfect "Cookie Ingredients in a Jar" gift, alongside a small container of maple syrup, for the baker on your list.
If you'd like to give or receive the book itself, autographed copies are available for a limited time for $19.95, plus free shipping on the Tate's Baked Goods website.
Maple Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries & Pecans
{Giveaway!!} While on the subject of giving, the folks at Tate's Bake Shop have been generous enough to offer one of my readers a Holiday Cookie & Bar Tower, valued at $48. That's a whole lot of Tate's goodness!
To enter the giveaway: Simply leave a comment below letting me know what your favorite cookie variety is. As usual, you can enter multiple times by spreading the word about this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter - simply leave an extra comment for each shout-out. A winner will be randomly selected on Monday, December 10th, 2012 @ noon. Update // The winner of this giveaway is comment #9 - Karen! Congrats to you!
Note: Please be sure to leave your email address, or another contact method in your comment, or by writing me personally. Otherwise I won't be able to let you know you've won!
Looking for more Cookie Recipes? Here are some of my favorites - Pecan Linzer Cookies with Cherry Filling | Lime Meltaways | Mexican Wedding Cakes | Almond Shortbread Stars | Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
Disclosure: I was provided with a free copy of Baking with Friends for the purpose of this review. However, as always, all opinions stated here are entirely my own.

Cranberry, Maple & Oatmeal Cookies

{printable recipe}
Yields: about 4 dozen cookies
Recipe from Baking for Friends cookbook, by Kathleen King
These cookies contain some of my favorite flavors and textures. I'm a huge fan of oatmeal cookies, but throw in some maple syrup and suddenly there's nothing better. You could make them without the add-ins {if you've got picky kids like I do}, but personally, I love the extra crunch of pecans, along with chewy cranberries that have the perfect bit of tartness. The recipe includes the option to add in maple extract, but I omitted that. I also chose to use dried cranberries, over fresh, because I wanted the chewy element, and finally, I used kosher salt in place of table salt {I use kosher salt so frequently, I don't even keep table salt in the house anymore!}

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
12 tablespoons {1 1/2 sticks} salted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup Grade B pure maple syrup
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon maple extract {optional}
1 cup dried cranberries {or 1 1/2 cups whole fresh cranberries}
1 cup toasted & coarsely chopped pecans

Position the oven racks in the top third and center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325˚F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper {or silicone baking mats}.

In a large bowl, stir together the oats, flour, salt, and baking soda until combined and set aside. In a separate large bowl, beat the brown sugar, butter, and maple syrup with an electric mixer set on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and maple extract {if using}. With the machine on low speed, mix in the oat mixture, just until combined. Mix in the cranberries and pecans.

Using 2 tablespoons per cookie, drop the dough about 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets {or use a 1-ounce food portion scoop to scoop the dough onto the baking sheets}. Refrigerate the remaining dough while you bake the first batch.

Bake, rotating the positions of the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking, until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges and still slightly soft, about 20 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire cooling racks and let cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough, on cooled baking sheets.


SkinnyMommy said...

Oh my goodness these look amazing!

shelly8806 said...

Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite!

Denise Wilson said...

pumpkin oatmeal white chocolate chip with raisins!

Elissa Marcuson said...

Good chocolate chip and walnut cookies are my favorite!

Anonymous said...

I am wild about chocolate chip cookies! They are my go to dessert year round.

Elizabeth K

Kari Lindsay said...

Most of the year I'm all about chocolate chip cookies (dark chocolate please), but at Christmas my faves are Lime Meltaways!

Joanne said...

I love the Tate's books! They are pretty much foolproof. And how did you know that oatmeal cookies are my favorites? These sound perfect for the holidays!

Emily Marquardt said...

Those look delish. Hope I win the Cookie and Bar Tower!

Karen said...

My favorite cookie is peanut butter chocolate chip.
But I love ALL cookies.

jodye @ chocolateandchoufleur said...

Well, I do have a bottle of maple extract that I'd be glad to use in a recipe that sounds as delicious as this one. I love the combination of maple and pecans, and the chewy cranberries, I'm sure, add just the right amount of sweet/tart to the mix!

Lauren Brown said...

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip is my favorite! Any these look like a close runner up!

Jessica Nielsen said...

Oatmeal chocolate chip with dried cranberries is my favorite, but molasses is a close second :)

Anonymous said...

these were absolutely amazing, espeically with white chocolate chips

ufg8trj said...

gluten free chocolate chip are my favorite
ufg8trj at yahoo

Unknown said...

Oatmeal Cookies--all varieties--are a hit in my family. My husband is allergic to chocolate (poor, deprived soul), so I tend to bake his favorite oatmeal cookies. This will be a great variation for the holidays! Thanks.

Alicia said...

Those cookies look so yummy and delicious. Just like a could reach out a grab on through the screen!:)

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