Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Cookies for Santa - White Chocolate & Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

I love Christmas. I love everything about it: the sight of a twinkling Christmas tree, the hope the season brings, the joy in getting together with family and friends, and the smells of Christmas.

Nothing helps me to get into the Christmas spirit more than decorating my tree, cranking the Christmas carols and pulling out some cookie sheets to do some baking.  As much as I love planning and baking the dessert for Christmas dinner, it wouldn't be complete without a tray full of Christmas baking.

The favourite in our household - cookies.  I mean, who doesn't love cookies?  And they are so easy to make and much healthier (& tastier!) than the store-bought variety.  A tray full of cookies makes a wonderful gift - it's been a tradition whenever time permits to gift our friends with a box full of cookies.

Unlike my family where traditions run deep and the same cookies were mostly made year after year to accommodate everyone's favourites, I usually change the cookies in my cookie box.

This one is one of my new favourites - white chocolate, cranberries and oatmeal.

I also have a love of coconut, so I threw some in for good measure, but it is easily omitted if you're not a fan like I am.

White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or grated peel of 1 orange
3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries

1/2 cup sweetened, flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 350° F.

Combine, flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract in large bowl. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats, cranberries, white chocolate chips and coconut (if using) . Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 1 - 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

I also drizzled some melted white chocolate on top of the cookies ( 3 oz for the recipe), but the cookies were equally delicious without.

And on Christmas Eve when your kids want to leave out cookies and milk for Santa - try these.  I guarantee you he'll like them.  Mine sure did!!!

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