March 19th was National Oatmeal Cookie Day. All I can say in my defense is I actually made these cookies on March 19th. I had every intention of sharing them on multiple occasions this past week, but then things like work and washing the dishes and work and doing the laundry and work and packing my lunch and work and seeing my friends and work and sleep happened. I suppose we all have weeks like that from time to time.
In between all the chores and work, I had a free hour or two to bake. I wanted to bake because those lunches I was packing were in desperate need of a sweet bite. When I have limited time, I typically resort to baking cookies, and this time was no exception. I turned to a classic – the oatmeal cookie – but I jazzed it up a bit with coconut and cranberries.
The more I bake, the more I realize the oatmeal cookie lends itself to seemingly countless interpretations. In just the past few months I have enjoyed both the salted vanilla chip and the spiced raisin turned cream pie varieties. They just keep getting better!
By the time the baking was complete and the cookies were photographed and consumed, I was faced with fitting blog writing time in between all of those works I mentioned. But every time I had a few moments to spare, I found I had nothing of interest to say. This happens more often than I would like to admit. I did what I always do and went in search of a quote.
“I’d make oatmeal cookies.”
“I would. That’s just what I would do.”
He lifts one hand from the steering wheel and pinches his chin. “Because the world is changing so fast all the time. There’s nothing you can do but just say, ‘cool,’ and roll with it. But some things can stay the same. Flour is still flour. Vanilla still smells like vanilla. Say a giant fireball is motoring toward us right now from Alha Centauri. Okay, universe. You expect us to run and scream and kill one another? Sorry, we’re making oatmeal freaking cookies.”
― R.A. Nelson, Breathe My Name
I love it. I have no idea what Breathe My Name is about. In fact, I had never heard of the work before I came across the above. What struck me is how that exchange sums up just why I love to bake. When things are crazy-busy and the pace of life seems as though it is gaining speed at every turn, flour is still flour and vanilla still smells like vanilla. And sometimes, you just have to stop and make some oatmeal cookies. Enjoy!
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups old-fashioned oats
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup sweetened coconut
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter
- ½ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon and salt.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the oats, cranberries and coconut.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Beat in the egg, followed by the vanilla.
- Reduce the mixer speed to mix in the flour mixture until just combined.
- Fold in the mixture of oats, cranberries and coconut.
- Roll 2 tablespoons of dough at a time into balls and place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Then gently flatten the dough balls with the palm of your hand.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 to 14 minutes, rotating the baking sheets two-thirds through the baking time. When done, the cookies will look golden brown on the edges but still a bit soft in the centers.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to allow to finish cooling.