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: