Friday, July 8, 2011

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cranberry Cookies: One Cookie, Three Ways

I hope you enjoyed those delicious Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies as much as I did, because here's where we take them to the next level! I've already mentioned my love for the Cranberry-Butterscotch version, but this variation will give those rich goodies a run for their money.

I have mixed feelings about adding peanut butter to cookies because I think the flavor often dominates all the other notes and nuances of a recipe. This is fine in a pure peanut butter cookie, but add this nut butter to chocolate chip or oatmeal cookies and you lose all the rich butter, caramel or spice flavors normally involved . Well, thankfully that's not the case here, because we're not just adding peanut butter - we're adding Reese's Pieces! Coupled with dried cranberries and oatmeal, they make these cookies something else entirely - a little bit like the tasty love-child of health-food granola, trail mix, and Monster Cookies. Delicious!

Again, I'm using the Quaker Oats base recipe, but with a few changes; I like to push the brown sugar flavor in this version and cut back a bit on the cinnamon. Other than that, they're exactly like their 'classic' cranberry cousins - but the flavor couldn't be more different! Don't make yourself choose between them - make them both!

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cranberry Cookies
adapted from the Quaker Oats 'Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies' recipe
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups oatmeal (I prefer old-fashioned)
1 cup sweetened, dried cranberries
2/3 - 3/4 cup Reese's Pieces, as desired

Preheat oven to 350 ° F. Cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well mixed. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and add gradually. Mix well. Stir in oats, cranberries and Reese's Pieces by hand until well distributed. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until slightly browned. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute before transferring to a clean countertop or wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 4 dozen regular cookies or 2 1/2 dozen Monster-sized mouthfuls!

A few notes: Another splendidly simple recipe. I used Reese's Pieces minis so that I could get more peanut butter goodness in every bite (you can also get away with using less, this way), but I'm sure the regular-sized pieces would work as well. Matt, the self-professed Oatmeal-Cookie-skeptic, actually preferred this version - but if you want to try your hand at making his favorites, you'll have to come back for the third and final recipe! I won't give it away entirely just yet, but I'll give you a hint that it involves Oreos........

This post linked at:
33 Shades of Green: Tasty Tuesdays
This Chick Cooks: These Chicks Cooked
The Lady Behind the Curtain: Cast Party Wednesday
Sweet as Sugar Cookies: Sweets for a Saturday

1 comment:

  1. Wow, these look good. I love reeses pieces. I might have to give these a try.