Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sundays with Sparky - Cranberry Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

This week, Sparky's buddy Zuko came over for the afternoon...and when they asked for a snack, I decided to make them work for it.  I'd seen this lovely-looking recipe over at the altogether lovely blog, Korean-American Mommy and couldn't resist the siren call of leftover fresh Thanksgiving cranberries and dark chocolate chips.

Lisa, who writes the blog, was kind enough to allow me to reprint her recipe here:

Cranberry Dark Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

1-1/4 Sticks of Butter, room temperature
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
1 Large Egg
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
2 tbsp Flax Seed
1 Cup Old Fashion Quaker Oats
1-1/4 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips (you can use your favorite chocolate)
1 Cup Coarsely Chopped Fresh Organic Cranberries


1. Preheat oven to 350º. Prepare two lined baking sheets. Cream together the butter, and sugars. Add the egg then add the vanilla extract using your stand alone mixer, electric mixer or by hand.

003Sparky and Zuko are finally at an age where I was able to set out all the ingredients and all the equipment, and set them to work.  Here they are reading my printout:


2. Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and flax seeds and add to the butter mixture. Add the oatmeal, blend well. Stir in the dark chocolate chips and cranberries* and blend well.


3. Using a cookie scoop, place a scoopful 2 inches apart and bake for 16 minutes.
(Look at them, for all the world like a couple of busy kitchen elves...)

The resultant cookies may well be my favorites of all time: they hit all the right marks - chocolate and cranberries offer a bitter-sweet-sour combination and the hint of cinnamon in the background is like a whiff of Christmas; the texture is at once crisp and chewy.

Much as I loved the cookies themselves, I was struck most by the bittersweet contrast between Lisa's sweetly chubby toddler and my own now-lanky beloved boy who insists he is a tween:


We went through two full batches of these cookies in less than a week, happily eating and sharing along the way.  Of course, being me, we had a few happy mishaps and tweaks along the way: first, I mismeasured the butter and inadvertently added two more tablespoons...resulting in a cookie that was crispier, spread more, but where the chocolate chips were less distinct.  I'm ambivalent about this change, but if you prefer a crisper cookie, more butter is the way to go.

*After seeing the delicious red-speckled result, I thought a bit of green would make them more festive, and I added about 1/3 cup of chopped hulled pistachios to my second batch  (When I get around to joining one, I plan to send my gym membership fees directly to Lisa.  )  The pistachios are a keeper - they were a definite hit with the family.


Chef Dennis said...

It is a wonderful cookie!! at first I thought Sparky was Lisa's new nickname and she a cult following like Dorie!! Oh well, I'm glad you had a great day making cookies!

Michele Hays said...

LOL - Thanks! Well, when Lisa gets her well-deserved cult following, you can say that you were there when it started!

~Lisa~ said...

Thanks for trying the recipe and I loved that your son and his buddy made them. I also love the addition of the pistachios! I linked you on my Facebook fan page (=

Chef Dennis is such a sweetie (=

Michele Hays said...

Thanks, Lisa! That's awesome!

Lisa said...
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