Cranberries are delicious but unless you like very tart foods, aren't so tasty without some sweetening. Most dried cranberries are loaded with sugar. Luckily Whole Foods and farmers markets offer dried cranberries sweetened with apple juice. They're still sweet and you should still use sparingly, but they are a much healthier option.
Oats are ancients grains that probably came to North America in the 17th century. I grew up eating the instant, overly-processed, heavily sugared variety, of course, thinking that I was making a heathy choice. Though there is no nutritional difference between rolled oats and steel cut oats, I prefer the slower cooking, steel cut variety, and have recently discovered stone cut oats. This recipe calls for steel or stone cut oats, but you can go with plain, unsweetened rolled oats if you like a softer texture.
I don't use a lot of sugar in the cookie dough because the cranberries and dark chocolate offer plenty. The unsweetened coconut also has a mild sweetness. My kids absolutely love these cookies. They keep nicely in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Makes about a dozen-and-a-half cookies
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup organic brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk
1 cup unsweetened dry oats, stone cut, steel cut, or rolled
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda or 1 teaspoon sodium-free baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder or sodium-free baking powder
Pinch sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sweetened cranberries, preferably juice sweetened
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks
1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl or bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter together with the sugars until smooth and fluffy. Mix in the egg, then the vanilla, then the cream or milk. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl whisk together the oats, all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sea salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.
4. In small batches, mix all of the flour mixture into the butter mixture (on low if using a standing mixer) until combined.
5. Using a wooden spoon, fold the chocolate, cranberries, and coconut into the dough.
6. Line a heavy cookie sheet with a sheet or parchment.
7. Using a tablespoon or an ice cream scoop, form 2-inch diameter balls of dough on the baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Flatten each ball a little bit to encourage even baking. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden brown, rotating the sheet halfway through baking.
8. Cool cookies on a wire rack.