Sunday, February 5, 2012

Just a little cookie...Orange Carrot Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

The count down is on...1 week till the half marathon in Birmingham...a week and half till my nephew turns 3...3 weeks till the first meetings of the season and things really start to get busy.  What this really means is that I have a feeling that before I know it, it will be May and I will have somehow missed spring.  So, what do I do to take my mind off of this, to slow things down just for a minute or two, I...

....make cookies.  I think they work the best for really taking my mind off of everything else, because I can zone out, throw in what I want and just see how the flavors come out.  For these cookies I was really going after trying to get the winter citrus flavor in to a cookie.  

Cookie = 1 orange (zest and juice) + dried cranberries + shredded carrots + oats

These cookies are the cousin to the oatmeal raisin cookie and are amazing straight out of the oven.  I am just saying I might have had three in one night.  They came out fluffier than most oatmeal raisin cookies.  They are soft, but with a nice crunch from the oatmeal.  The orange flavor really comes through and goes great with the cranberries.  Oh and I really just threw the carrots in to add something nutritious into the cookie.  So take them or leave, your choice, but I promise you can't taste them. Enjoy!

These cookies are just so pretty.  The deep maroon of the cranberries next to the bright orange of the carrots just makes these cookies pop.

One of the best things about oat based cookies and that they don't spread as much as other cookies, so you can fit a lot on the cookie sheet.

Yummy cookies taken to the office...because if they stayed around my house it would have been bad news bears.  I'm just saying...

Orange Carrot Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies:
*makes approximately 3 dozen cookies
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup egg beaters (2 eggs), at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest & juice of 1 orange
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup shredded carrots
3 1/2 cups old fashioned oats, uncooked

1.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together butter and sugars until well combined.

2.  Whisk in the egg beaters and vanilla until well combined.

3.  In a small mixing bowl, mix together the shredded carrots and the zest from one orange.

4.  In a microwave-safe mug, combine the juice from the orange and the cranberries.  Heat in a microwave for 20-25 seconds, set aside. (This will allow the cranberries to plump up in the juice a bit.)

5.  In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

6.  Whisk the dry ingredients in to the butter-sugar mixture just until combined.  Fold in the carrots, orange zest, cranberries with juice and oats, just until combined.  Refrigerate for one hour or over night.

7.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, scoop dough on to prepared pan so that dough balls are 1 inch apart.  Bake for 11-13 minutes or until golden brown.  Cookies may appear slightly gooey in the center when removing from the oven, but they should set up.  Let cool on cooling rack for 1-2 minutes, then move to cooling rack.  Enjoy!
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