One of the many perks of working at a university are the beginning of semester festivities. One of the favorite traditions (for students and staff alike) is “cookie week”, when university staff pass out cookies to welcome students and faculty back to campus. The most popular cookies are cranberry walnut. These massive cookies are soft and gooey and packed with enough oatmeal, cranberries and nuts that we can pretend they are healthy (they’re not, I read the nutrition facts once). Now that we are half way into the spring semester, the next cookie week (and batch of cranberry cookies!) is more than two months away. Instead I made my own!
I decided to swap out the walnuts for pecans because I prefer pecans, and I didn’t have any walnuts and was not in the mood to run to the store. I think the pecans go nicely with the cranberries- even better than the walnuts! My go-to oatmeal cookie recipe actually came from the side of a can of oats, and it lent itself well to oatmeal cranberry pecan cookies! I’d recommend using dark brown sugar for a richer flavor, and if you like, you can use coconut oil instead of vegetable shortening (the cookies will spread out more, so make sure they have plenty of space).
The original recipe yields 4 dozen small cookies. I was inspired by cookie week, where the cookies are about as big as my hand- maybe bigger. I opted to make 2 dozen large cookies instead. They required a longer cook time, but the result was a huge, thick cookie with crispy edges and a soft center. The cranberries add a delicious tart flavor that balances the sweet oatmeal cookie and the pecans have the perfect amount of crunch. Yum.
Enjoy your cookies with a glass of milk, or bring them to the office to share (if they make it out of your kitchen). These oatmeal cranberry pecan cookies might just be too delicious to share!
- 1/2 cup butter, soften
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (or coconut oil)
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups oats
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 2/3 craisins (dried cranberries)
- In a large bowl (or stand mixer), cream butter, shortening and sugar. Add egg and vanilla, and beat until smooth.
- Gradually add oats, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, mixing until well combined. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary.
- Mix in craisins and pecans. I used 1/3 cup of pecans and 2/3 cup of craisins. You can adjust the amount of craisins and pecans as you wish, but the mix-ins should not exceed 1 cup.
- Drop cookies onto a lined baking sheet. For small cookies, spoon teaspoonfuls of batter onto the pan. My large cookies were about 1/4 cup scoops, which I rolled into a ball and pressed onto the pan.
- Bake at 350 degree Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes for small cookies, or 15-20 minutes for large cookies.
- Cool on a wire rack.