Sunday, March 24, 2013

Maple Oatmeal Cran-Blue-Raisin-Berry Cookies

Last night, some friends and I were discussing razzleberry. What kind of flavor is that? Usually it's just blue dye and some fruity artificial flavors.

But we decided it probably comes from raspberry and apple. And then we started thinking about cran-apple, and what would happen if you shortened that in the same way...
Crappleberry. That's what would happen. So Ocean Spray just sticks with's probably a safer bet, advertising-wise.

These cookies are not crapple-icious. They look innocent and full of berries, until WHAM

Golden raisins reveal themselves among the camouflage of golden dough, ninja-like, full of stealth. Sweet, wrinkly stealth.

This is what they look like after they've been smooshed together traveling on a plane, bus, and train. Still taste amazing though!

The only downside of this recipe is that the maple flavor has a bit too much stealth. It's kind of invisible. If you want a stronger flavor, I'd suggest maple extract, or swapping out some brown sugar for maple sugar.

The extra liquid from the sticky sap contributes moisture, keeping the cookies soft, but I wonder what would happen if you replaced it with molasses, or honey. You'd probably want to decrease the amount a bit, since those are stronger/sweeter than maple syrup, respectively. But it could make a delicious change! (It also makes the dough a bit sticky, so refrigerating before scooping helps the cookies keep their shape).

Or maybe you want to play with the additions. Joy made hers with white chocolate and cranberry! I think it'd be wonderful with some toasted, slivered almonds too!

This is one of those drop cookies which takes well to almost any add-in. Pretzels. Chocolate. Dried fruit. Nuts. Sprinkles. Heath bits. Chopped up peanut butter cups. I just threw in many handfuls of small dried fruits, but you could go crazy with variations! 

P.S. Yes, that's toilet paper, AKA college kleenex

Maple Oatmeal Cran-Blue-Raisin-Berry Cookies
Yield: about 3 1/2 dozen

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 3/4 cups rolled oats
Handfuls and handfuls of bite-sized add-ins: I recommend about 2 cups worth if you want them really choc full! This version has about 1/2 cup dried blueberries, 3/4 cup golden raisins, and 1 cup dried cranberries, approximately.

  1. Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, silpats, foil and baking spray, etc. and set aside. 
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon. 
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), combine butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Beat on medium-low speed until thoroughly combined and slightly fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.  
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition. Add vanilla extract and maple syrup and beat to combine. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. Add in add-ins and stir in by hand or let the mixer handle it.
  5. (optional) Refrigerate dough for about an hour--it really helps since, with the syrup, the dough is pretty sticky.
  6. Spoon batter onto prepared pans by the heaping tablespoonful. Leave about 2 inches of space between cookies.  Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden around the edges. 
  7. Cool cookies on the sheet for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to finish cooling on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to four days. 
Adapted from Joy the Baker!

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