Oatmeal Cranberry Pecan Cookies

oatmeal cranberry pecan cookiesOne 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).

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Super Bowl Cookies

Super Bowl CookiesSuper Bowl 50 is right around the corner, and whether you’re an avid football fan, or in it for the commercials, you’ll probably be tuning in to watch on Sunday night.

I love sports, including football. I’m looking forward to cheering on my team, the Denver Broncos. I might be a Minnesota girl, but my cousin Daniel is a huge Broncos fan, and after years of watching sports together, coupled with too many heart-breaking losses for the Minnesota Vikings, I finally converted to the Orange Side. Even though the Broncos are my team, the Carolina Panthers have had a great season, and they are definitely a fun team to watch. It should be a great game!

Sports fan or not, everyone can agree that Super Bowl snacks are one of the important parts of the evening. In preparation, I’ve baked up special treats for the big game- Super Bowl cookies for each team. There’s no need to pick a side- these cookies are delicious for everyone.

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Spiral Cookies

spiral cookies10wSomething about these spiral cookies makes me smile every time I see them. These cookies are so fun with their bright color, distinctive spiral and generous coating of sprinkles. They are also super fun to make- just pop the ingredients in your food processor or mixer, process, roll, slice and bake. And eat. These cute little cookies demand to be eaten.

In addition to being fun, these cookies are incredibly versatile. The base recipe is a buttery shortbread-like cookie, and virtually any flavor can be added to the dough. I like to make peppermint cookies for Christmas with green or red spirals (pictured). Try a fruity flavor like strawberry, paired with bright colored dough and fun sprinkles for a birthday party. Or coordinate with your favorite team’s colors for a Super Bowl Party. The options are endless!

Update- for my Broncos “Orange Crush” spiral cookies, I dyed the vanilla dough blue and used orange extract to flavor the second dough. The resulting flavor was like a Dreamsicle. 

Spiral Cookies
Purple Pinwheels
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