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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Cookies

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A few years ago, I was introduced to the world of bed and breakfasts when we stayed at one during our trip to Asheville, North Carolina. I enjoyed all aspects of it, but especially the oatmeal raisin cookie bar recipe I walked away with!
At my second jaunt in a BnB, I once again walked away with a killer recipe! These were in the cookie jar the day we arrived and Ryan and I couldn't keep our hands out! What is it with bed and breakfasts and their propensity for oatmeal and raisins?! I haven't figured it out, but I'm certainly not complaining! These cookies are actually a spin (and a dang good one!) on traditional oatmeal raisin cookies. Raisins are replaced with dried cranberries and most importantly, there are two secret ingredients: orange zest and orange extract.
I actually couldn't taste any hint of orange in the cookies at The Oge House, but the taste of citrus definitely came through in my version. Ryan didn't even recognize them as the cookies from San Antonio until I told him. Perfectly alike or not, these are a new favorite in our house! 

I used Zulka Pure Cane Sugar in them, which was recently sent to me to try out. Zulka is a minimally processed sugar made from fresh sugar cane and while I was pleased to see that it worked just like standard granulated sugar in this recipe! It's no secret that I bake a lot, so any time I can use a less processed product I consider this a great thing! If this is something you're concerned about, I highly recommend checking out Zulka's products. 

One Year Ago: Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars (Homemade Twix)
Two Years Ago: Creamy Five Cup Fruit Salad
Three Years Ago: 30 Minute Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Cookies
from The Oge House in San Antonio, TX

-1 stick plus 6 tbsp butter, softened
-3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
-1/2 cup granulated sugar (here is where I used Zulka's product)
-2 eggs
-1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/2 tsp salt
-3 cups old-fashioned oats
-1 cup dried cranberries (craisins)
-1/2 tsp orange extract (can sub with vanilla but you won't have as strong of an orange flavor!)
-zest from 1/2 to 1 orange

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Beat butter with both sugars in a large bowl over medium speed, until creamy. Add eggs and extract (orange or vanilla) and beat well.
2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add to the creamed mixture, stirring to combine. Stir in oats, craisins, and orange zest.
3. Place rounded tablespoons of dough on ungreased cookie sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack. Cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.