Tender Cranberry-Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

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Recipe photo

Tender Cranberry-Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

star rating (28) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

These soft, chewy cookies are packed with nuts and fruit, as well as a healthy serving of oats. They’re not aggressively spiced, so kids will like them; but feel free to double the amount of cinnamon, if you’re a fan. And what’s the rum doing in there, by the way? Alcohol is a flavor carrier; even though you can’t taste it, it enhances the flavor of everything around it.

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks, 6 ounces) unsalted butter
1/4 cup (1 7/8 ounces) trans-fat-free vegetable shortening
1 3/4 cups (13 1/8 ounces) brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) vanilla extract
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) spiced rum (optional)
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons (2 ounces) boiled cider (for great flavor; substitute maple syrup or dark corn syrup, if desired)
1 cup (4 ounces) dried cranberries, packed
1 cup (4 ounces) golden raisins
1 cup (4 ounces) chopped pecans or almonds
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour or Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3 cups (11 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, shortening, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices, salt, vanilla, and rum, beating until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; then add the boiled cider or syrup. Stir in the fruit and nuts, then the flour, beating gently until well combined. Add the oats last, making sure they’re thoroughly distributed throughout the bowl.

Now, you can make these cookies three different sizes. A tablespoon cookie scoop will make traditional 2 ½" cookies. A heaped scoop of dough, using a tablespoon cookie scoop (3 tablespoons, about 2 ounces), will make 3 ¼" cookies. A muffin scoop (1/4 cup) will make big 4" cookies, suitable to wrap individually and sell at a bake sale. Drop balls of dough onto the prepared sheets, leaving about 2" between them. Bake the cookies until they’re just barely set on top–about 12 minutes for the small cookies, 13 to 14 minutes for the medium cookies, and 16 minutes for the large cookies. Remove them from the oven, and cool them on the baking sheets, or transfer them to a rack to cool.
Yield: about 4 dozen small, 30 medium, or 2 dozen large cookies.


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  • star rating 03/26/2015
  • Wigtonmama from KAF Community
  • This is an incredibly easy and tasty recipe! There is no vegetable shortening in my kitchen, so I used all butter and the results were awesome. Flavourful, slightly chewy and the cookies look great. I am recommending this recipe to my fellow bakers and will be making it again!
  • star rating 01/17/2015
  • cakeshopok from KAF Community
  • One of the best cookies I've ever made. I used dried cranberries from my local health food store. They're sweetened with juice, not sugar. Each cookie dough ball was 39 grams (.40 ounces) and I got 40 cookies.
  • star rating 12/06/2014
  • Cyndi from Salisbury, Md
  • These are really awesome. My husband loves oatmeal cookies, and these are definitely the best I've ever made. I used slivered almonds, and left the ginger out because I am not a fan. A bit hard to stir in all the oatmeal at the end because it's such a thick dough. I was glad I had the spiced rum and 100% maple syrup on hand. I think that really made them so great...you really don't taste the rum.
  • star rating 11/22/2014
  • rusty1224 from KAF Community
  • I think these may be the best cookies I have ever made! I have "reduced" my sweet tooth and these are just right - not too sweet. I thought about leaving out the spices for picky eaters, but they add just the right complexity. I had regular rum (not spiced) and that was a great addition in spite of that. I always make a recipe the first time as is and I don't plan to change a thing. Wow!
  • star rating 10/09/2014
  • Cre8apic from KAF Community
  • Delicious! I travel quite a bit with my job & have collected enough packs of Starbucks dried fruit and mixed nuts that you can get with their oatmeal...and, this turned out to be the perfect recipe to use them. (7 packs of each was perfect!) I didn't use the rum, but followed the rest of the recipe to the "t". Love the mixture of fruit & nuts. My husband and I love these cookies!
  • star rating 11/02/2012
  • Karen from VA
  • Easy, delicious, wonderful whole grain recipe!
  • star rating 08/25/2012
  • hank264 from KAF Community
  • Fantastic. I substituted chopped dates for the raisins. Best oatmeal cookies ever!
  • star rating 06/16/2012
  • Margaeg from KAF Community
  • These cookies sounded great for an afternoon picnic. Trader Joe's usually has KAF but the shelf was bare except for Trader Josef's white wheat flour. Using Trader Josef's flour may have made a difference in the outcome. Because the 0% trans fat vegetable shortening tasted salty, I left out the salt. Although the cookies taste good and look appealing, they did not spread out like the cookies shown in the picture. They were a bit overloaded with raisins, cransberries, oatmeal and nuts and very sweet. Despite all of the fat, they do look healthy. Just don't tell anyone that they contain a ton of fat.
  • star rating 05/01/2012
  • Mel from Tampa, FL
  • These are FANTASTIC as is but to kick up the nutritional punch I made some adjustments. I substituted 1/4c. of the whole wheat flour for flax seed flour. I used 1 egg plus 1 white to reduce the cholesterol. My husband is not a fan of nuts, so those were omitted altogether. I did not have any cider on hand, so I used 1tbs. apple cider vinegar plus 2 tbs.apple juice (plus I find this is KEY to lighten the whole wheat flour and flax which tend to make cookies dense and cakey). Lastly, because these cookies are for my husband's lunch and we need them to keep soft for 5-6 days, I reduced the butter and increased the shortening a bit. He LOVES them (with the adjustments) and I love them as is. DELICIOUS! These are a staple in our cookie jar!
  • star rating 01/30/2012
  • Rose Is Rose from KAF Community
  • I left out the spices and used an extra tablespoon of vanilla for the rum and was very happy with the results!! They truly are tender and soft. I thought the one reviewer complaining about them being soft and not crispy was extremely unfair. The recipe clearly announces up front that they are soft cookies. I'm not sure the reviewer even tried the recipe. So, if you like soft cookies, give them a try. If you only eat crispy cookies, look for a different recipe. I actually chose this recipe because of the softness as I needed something that would hold up in being mailed. Thank you for the recipe--it's a keeper!
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