Christmas is for cookies and brownies and other luscious sweets. In my house this has traditionally meant all different kinds of cookies, but none were ever really a true Christmas tradition. None were seasonal, none were specific to the holidays and I suppose most of all, none were mine.
This year I set out to remedy that and to do something that I absolutely never do. I stepped out of my comfort zone completely and modified a cookie recipe to reflect what my kids love to eat and to enhance the flavors that I like.
I was terrified. I was uneasy. I was sure it wouldn’t work, because I’m a cook, not a baker and i was sure to screw this up.
I didn’t. It was wonderful! The cookies were perfect, tasty, sweet, tangy and speckled with tiny glimpses of cranberry and white chocolate.
This is a modified version of my wife’s famous Cowboy Cookie recipe, but with a few twists however, a cowboy cookie has a traditional set of ingredients. This recipe is no longer a cowboy cookie by definition, so I decided in the spirit of the season to dub these “Reindeer Wranglers”, both because the tiny speckles of cranberry reminded me of Rudolph’s nose and because I figured that Santa’s reindeer crew would probably enjoy these a great deal.
Now our family has its very own Christmas cookie tradition, invented in our own kitchen and made with love. It makes me happier than it should, I think.
What are your Christmas cookie traditions? Is there anything that jut HAS to be baked every year? We’d love to hear about it.
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 6 oz. white chocolate morsels
- 3/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries
- 3/4 cup shredded coconut
Heat oven to 350°F. Cream shortening, granulated sugar and brown sugar with a hand mixer or electric stand mixer. Add eggs and vanilla, beat until well blended. Mix in flour, baking soda salt and baking powder.
Add remaining ingredients and mix to combine. Dough will be thick! (If using a stand mixer, you may want to switch to a dough hook at this point.)
Spoon cookie mixture onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until bottom edge of cookie is golden.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
My kids declared these the best cookies I have ever made. I’m not here to argue with that, just to bask in the glory of a job well done…. And try not to sneak another cookie.
Links to other recipes like this: