Mmmm, how-to Tuesday is delicious this week. Here's my recipe for oatmeal cookies with white chocolate chunks and rum-infused dried cranberries. I suffered through a few incarnations of this recipe before I got it just right. It turned out best when I based it on Ye Olde Family Recipe for oatmeal-raisin cookies, which I'm pretty sure came off a Quaker oatmeal canister circa 1975.
- 3/4 c. butter (softened)
- 1 c. brown sugar (packed firm)
- 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 t. vanilla
- 1/4 c. water
- 1-1/4 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 t. salt
- 1/2 t. baking soda
- 3 c. rolled oats (not instant or quick)
- 1 c. unsweetened dried cranberries
- 1/4 c. rum (I used light, but dark should be fine)
- one 6-oz. package of white baking chocolate (chips just aren't the same)
Start by soaking the cranberries in the rum in a glass or ceramic bowl. You can microwave them for 15-30 seconds to jump-start the infusion. Let them sit for at least 15 minutes (with microwaving) or up to 24 hours.
While the cranberries are getting to know the rum, chop up the white chocolate with a heavy knife. You can microwave the chocolate for about 10-15 seconds to soften it a little so it'll chop cleanly instead of splintering. Yes, you *can* use white chocolate chips instead, but once you try this with white chocolate chunks, you won't want to. (And please, check the ingredients on your white chocolate! It should contain cocoa butter, not oil.)
Next, blend the butter and sugar together in a large bowl by hand or with a mixer. Add the egg, water, and vanilla and blend well. Add the flour, salt, and soda and mix again.
Next, add the oats and stir by hand. Drain the cranberries (save any extra rum -- pair it with club soda and a dash of lime for a yummy mini-cocktail). Finally, add the berries and the white chocolate chunks and stir again by hand.
Drop the dough by rounded spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 325°F for 8-10 minutes. The cookies are done when the edges are golden and the centers are still soft. Makes 2-3 dozen cookies, depending on size.
It's possible that these are the best cookies I've ever made, and I've made a *lot* of cookies in my day.
Variations: You can make these with just raisins, with chocolate chips and raisins, or without the rum. For a crispier cookie, omit 1/4 c. flour, add another tablespoon or two of butter, and cook an additional 2-5 minutes.
Other deliciousness from B/M/C/B: