All-Star Oatmeal Cookies

(a.k.a. Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Drops, a.k.a. Kids' Choice Chip & Fruit Oatmeal Cookies ...)

Kids and cookies go together like — well, like kids and just about anything sweet. Given kids' affinity for sugar, you might as well temper it with some of the "good stuff" — in this case, oats with their soluble fiber, and whole wheat flour, with its extra vitamins, minerals, and bran. Trust us: the kids won't know they're getting anything "healthy" in their favorite cookie!

Prep
10 mins
Bake
12 to 14 mins
Total
22 mins
Yield
4 1/2 dozen cookies
All-Star Oatmeal Cookies

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, shortening, sugars, vanilla, salt, and vinegar.
  3. Beat in the egg, then the baking soda, flour, and oats. Stir in the chips.
  4. Drop the dough, by tablespoonfuls, onto the prepared baking sheets.
  5. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, until they're golden brown. Remove the cookies from the oven, and cool on a rack, or right on the pan. Lighter-colored cookies will be chewier; darker-colored, crunchier.

Tips from our Bakers

  • If you bake the cookies for 12 minutes; they'll be crunchy around the edges, with a slight bend at the center. If you bake for the full 14 minutes, till they're almost a light mahogany color, they'll be crisp/crunchy all the way through.
  • For smaller cookies (great for smaller kids!), drop the dough by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets, and bake for just slightly less time: 30 seconds to 1 minute less than the larger cookies. Yield: about 7 dozen 2" cookies.
  • What's vinegar doing in a chocolate chip cookie recipe? Ah-HA! Vinegar is our secret weapon. It tempers cookies' sweetness just a tad, and reacts with the leavener to give them a bit more rise, making them lightly crunchy/chewy rather than hard.
  • Want to make the dough now, freeze, and bake later? Scoop the dough in tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheet; place them close together to save space. Cover the sheet with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer for about 2 hours, until the dough balls are frozen. Put the dough balls in a plastic freezer bag, removing the air as best you can. A drinking straw, inserted into the almost-closed bag, can be used to suck out air and effectively shrink-wrap the cookies. Keep frozen for up to a month before baking. When you're ready to bake, place as many dough balls as you like on a prepared baking sheet, and let them sit at room temperature while you preheat your oven to 350°F, for about 15 minutes. Bake partially thawed cookies for 15 to 17 minutes, until as brown as you like.