I am not usually a big white chocolate fan—for me the darker the better! But these White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies are a big exception.
I first tried them at a local utility event where they were distributing their annual Holiday Cookie Book. Published (more or less) annually since the 1920s, people line up around the block for a copy.
Now they didn’t normally pass out cookies with the book, but that year was a tasty exception! And I knew I had to make them—it just took me a… decade or so!
Unfortunately, this year, when it was time for #CookieWeek with my blogging friends (see below for lots more tasty recipes), all I could find were some notes. But happily, the notes worked out great!
Cookies in a Jar
I always like the idea of cookies in a jar. If you aren’t familiar with the concept, they are basically a homemade cookie mix with all the non-perishable ingredients layered attractively into a jar. The recipient just adds a few things like butter and eggs for an easy, fun cookie. And there was one event that put them over the top for me.
A coworker, known for bringing the best treats to group meetings, gave everyone a jar as a Christmas gift. That was nice in itself, but that winter, it saved the day for me.
My youngest had a friend over for a playdate and things weren’t going well. Even worse, nothing I suggested seemed to help. Then I remembered the gift and pulled down the jar. Two sets of eyes lit up and the afternoon was saved!
Cookies in a jar are fun holiday gifts for work, teachers or over-sized stocking stuffers. I even have tags for you (below) to add. For more options see M&M Cookies in a Jar or Christmas Cowboy Cookies in a Jar!
What Makes This a Winner
Whether you do these in a jar or not, these cookies are a winner. They are:
- Chewy & tasty. While there are lots of delicious white chocolate chip cranberry cookies, the oatmeal in these gives them a beautiful chew! And with four (4!), tasty add-ins (or mix and match per your taste) the flavor is over the top.
- Easy. Even if you don’t start with a ready jar, these are easy. Do them from a jar and it’s practically no work!
- Customizable. See “Changing up the add-ins” below for tips on adapting for nut-haters and more. Yes, with this flexibility they can become oatmeal cranberry chocolate chip cookies just as easily!
Filling the Jar
To fill the jar, you start with a clean quart-sized mason jar and layer in the ingredients. I went (from bottom to top): flour mixed with baking soda, brown sugar, oatmeal, cranberries, white chocolate, pecans and semi-sweet chocolate. But as long as you alternate colors, feel free to play around.
A funnel can help you fill the jars more easily as long as the opening isn’t too small. If you have a canning funnel, those are perfect!
It’s important to note that when measuring the flour, you need to fluff, spoon and level with a knife like usual when baking.
But when it comes time to fill the jar, many recipes, including this one, will have you pack the flour in the jar to save space. And brown sugar, which you always pack to measure, will need to be re-packed when placed in the jar. I used the end of an ice cream scoop for this.
After you have filled your jar, you are ready to cover and save for later!
How to Bake These
Cool (at least partially), then enjoy!
Printing the Tags
Click on this link for a PDF that you can print: White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies Tags
The tags can be printed on card stock or even plain paper. I cut the tags apart with a scissors, then used a toothpick to make a small hole. Next I inserted some red & white bakers twine and tied this to the decorative ribbon around the jar lid.
Changing the add-ins
This cookie is full of tasty add-ins including white chocolate chips, dried cranberries, semi-sweet chocolate chips and pecans. At 1/3 cup each they total 1 1/3 cups. But feel free to change this up as long as you end up with the same total 1 1/3 cups.
For example, my youngest hates nuts, so I leave them out if she’ll be eating them. Instead I use ½ cup each of cranberries and white chocolate and 1/3 cup of semi-sweet chocolate. Out of pecans? Make oatmeal cranberry walnut cookies!
No dried cranberries? Raisins, dried currants or dried cherries should work. No white chocolate chips? Chunk up a white chocolate bar or use more semi-sweet.
Tips & FAQs
These cookies are pretty sticky with all the add-ins and I had to really scrub the cookie sheet. Even a non-stick spray didn’t help. I try to avoid using baking parchment unless needed due to the waste. But in this case, I make an exception and line the baking sheet (and afterwards I compost my brown parchment paper).
If you are feeding a crowd, consider doubling the recipe. In order to fit in a 1 quart jar, this is slightly smaller than some recipes. I like that anyway to reduce any cookie-binging temptation. I got 24 medium/small cookies but next time I might go for 18 larger ones.
You don’t need to chill the dough before baking. But I like to roll the dough into neat balls so the cookies spread as even as possible.
Friday Christmas Cookie Recipes
- Big Soft Ginger Cookies from Jolene’s Recipe Journal
- Chai Snickerdoodles from The Spiffy Cookie
- Chewy Oatmeal Ginger Cookies from Family Around the Table
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies from Kate’s Recipe Box
- Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Christmas Ritz Cracker Cookies from Jen Around the World
- Cinnamon Toast Macaron from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti from Sweet Beginnings
- Cranberry Thumbprint Cookies from Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Double Chocolate Cherry Almond Oatmeal Cookies from Magical Ingredients
- Double Peppermint Cookies from Daily Dish Recipes
- Grinch Cookies from Devour Dinner
- Italian Pistachio Cookies from Take Two Tapas
- Old-Fashioned Jubilee Jumbles Cookies from Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
- Peppermint Shortbread from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Reindeer Cookies from Kathryn’s Kitchen Blog
- Sugar Cookie Bars from Leftovers Then Breakfast
- Thumbprint Cookies from Palatable Pastime
- White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies from Art of Natural Living
For the jar:
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup oatmeal (rolled oats)
- 1/3 cup each: cranberries, white chocolate chips, semi-sweet morsels (chocolate chips), pecans (or your favorite combination totaling 1 1/3 cups)
To add before baking:
- 1 stick butter (1/2 cup), softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
To prepare the jar (see note):
Measure one cup of flour (fluff, spoon and level), then pour it into a 1 quart mason jar. Add 1 teaspoon baking soda, then stirr together in the jar. Using an ice cream scoop or similar object, pack the mixture down.
Measure ¾ cup (packed) of brown sugar. Pour into jar, over the flour mixture, then pack this down too.
Top with 1 cup oatmeal, followed by the cranberries, white chocolate chips, semi-sweet morsels and pecans. Top with a lid if keeping for later or gifting.
To bake the cookies:
Using a mixer, cream together 1 stick (1/2 cup) softened butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 egg.
Add contents of jar and mix until well combined.
Line a baking sheet with parchment. Roll a generous Tablespoon of dough into a ball then space apart on parchment.
Bake at 350F until set and slightly golden, about 11-12 minutes. Slide parchment onto cooling rack to cool. Delicious slightly warm or cool.
If baking immediately, you can skip filling the jar
and just mix those ingredients with the creamed butter mixture.
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