Last week we said goodbye to our little rescue kitten, Hugo. He went to live permanently with his new adoptive family. We were incredibly sad to see him go as we had become quite attached to him in the two months we kept him. Such a sweet cat. Sadness did mix with gratitude. Of course we are very happy he’s gone to a loving home, so to express our thanks I made his new owners these delicious, seasonal cookies.
When I tasted my first bite of these utterly amazing cookies, my first thought was, “Wow. I am the queen.” Then my second thought was, “Forget those people, I’m keeping the kitten AND the cookies!”
To explain how good they were, I should tell you that I don’t even like oatmeal cookies. I didn’t like them as a kid and I don’t really care for them now. But these cookies, despite being oatmeal, go on my Top 5 Best Cookies I’ve Ever Tasted list. I really hated to part with them. I chose the two ugliest looking cookies to keep and sample (one for me, and one for Matt). It was truly difficult to let the rest go.
I think what makes these so special is two things. Firstly, they are not overly sweet or cloying, as oatmeal cookies can sometimes be. The dark chocolate is the biggest contributing factor there. Secondly, they are larger cookies, which makes them tender, moist and chewy, with just a slight crispiness on the edges. Perfect cookie texture! I loved the dried cranberries in there, but you could sub in whatever you wanted: raisins, dried currants, dried cherries…
You could also use dark chocolate chips, but I think the chunks are highly superior. Sure, it takes a little extra time to chop the chocolate bar, but the results will be more than worth it. When chopping a chocolate bar, the tricks are to run your hands under cold water, then dry them thoroughly on paper towels, and to work quickly. Otherwise, your warm hands will start to melt the chocolate, which makes a huge mess and affects how well it blends with the cookie dough.
Source: Weeknights with Giada, by Giada de Laurentiis
1 cup flour
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1 (4 oz.) 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate bar, chopped into small chunks
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. With the machine running, gradually add the flour mixture. Add the oats, cranberries, and chocolate chunks. Mix until just incorporated with a rubber spatula. It will be stiff.
Using a 1/4-cup measure, scoop 12 (2 inch) slightly rounded mounds of the dough. Place 6 balls of dough, spaced evenly apart, on each baking sheet. Use the back of a spoon to flatten the tops slightly.
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until the cookies are slightly golden on the edges. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.