Ultimate Oatmeal Cookies

The cook in me likes to experiment with recipes. Right now, I've been working on a recipe for oatmeal cookies - and, of course, foisting them on my coworkers to garner feedback and (hopefully) helpful criticism.

My initial variations were simple - change the "extras" that go in. I'm not a fan of raisins in my oatmeal cookies, but I like the chewy-ness of dried fruit. So, I've opted for dried cranberries. Also, instead of walnuts, I go with pistachios. Finally - white chocolate.

On the spice side, I like a combination of cinnamon and cardamom - because the "warmth" and "spiciness" of the cardamom goes so well with the earthiness of the oatmeal. Then again, that's what I think.

Last batch was definitely too sweet - which means I need to back off the white sugar.

Recipe as it stands today:

1/2 c shortening
1/2 c butter (softened)

cream together with

1 c brown sugar, packed
1/2 c white sugar


1 t pure vanilla extract
2 eggs at room temperature

and mix at medium-high speed until light and fluffy. This is your last chance to get air in the mix!

Now add

2 c quick-cooking oats
1 c mixed grain quick-cooking breakfast (mix of barley, oat and wheat)
1 1/2 c flour
1 t baking soda
pinch of salt

Mix at low speed until incorporated. Add

1/2 c dried cranberries
1/2 c white chocolate chips
1/2 c shelled, unsalted pistachios (you can roast these for a stronger flavor)

Mix well.

Roll mix in to ~1" balls and place on an ungreased, heavy aluminum sheet pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until the cookies have spread and the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing from the cookie sheet.

These cookies are very moist and chewy - because of the brown sugar and the shortening. They don't spread too far (again, because of the shortening) but get some loft out of the baking soda.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.

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