It’s Christmas cookie season! Everyone is so excited!! I’m trying to blend in and pretend that I’ve been baking cookies for Christmas all my life!!!
But that’s not exactly true. Actually that’s about as far from true as Russia is far from Alaska. I remember just two kinds of cookies around the Christmas holidays; a buttery almond cookie and a spice cookie. These cookies didn’t come out of Mom’s oven, either. They came from the Greek market, or from random Greek friends dropping by for a visit. It’s sad, I know, I feel sorry for me too. As wonderful a cook as my mother was, she was not a baker. I think this lack of baking talent must be genetic, because it has only been through sheer force of will, perseverance and the ability to overcome absolute failure that I have managed to produce baked goods from my oven that are suitable for human consumption.
There is one advantage to my lack of Christmas baking tradition; I can bake any kind of cookie I want, call it a Christmas cookie, and nobody is going to argue with me about it. At least not where I can hear them. So this year I made oatmeal cookies, and you know what? I’m going to make ‘em again. For Christmas. Because I can.
First off you need to get yourself some of these little pretties. I saw these dried blueberries at the supermarket about two months ago and I got so excited that I bought a package. Then I left them on the counter for a few weeks while I tried to decide what to do with them, moving them around every time I had to clean the counter. When that got old, I relocated them to the refrigerator because it seemed like the right thing to do. Last week, epiphany struck in the form of a recipe for crispy oatmeal cookies that came across my computer screen.
The cookies are light, crisp and simply flavored with a little vanilla, which is the perfect canvas to showcase the slightly tart and sweet dried blueberries.
If you don’t have a cookie scoop, you really need to get yourself one. They come in all sizes and are the perfect tool for making cookies and meatballs, and for filling empanadas, wontons and potstickers. The one I used here scoops one tablespoon.
The cookies crisp up nicely once cooled, and if you can manage not to eat them all, they will keep for at least a week in an airtight container.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup dried blueberries
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat. With a mixer, cream together the butter and the two sugars until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. In a second bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add this mixture to the butter and sugar and mix until just incorporated. Do not over mix. Stir in the oats and blueberries until just until combined. Using a tablespoon scoop or a spoon, place dough in mounds on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for 15 to 16 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
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