Whether you intend to bake enough for a small army, or you just want a plate for Santa on Christmas Eve, I will be posting all my tried and true favorites in the coming weeks. And today we have Favorites for your Freezer! Doesn’t sound nearly as good as Warm Gooey Goodness from the Oven, does it? But for anyone with a busy schedule, you will appreciate that some of these first few recipes are ones I bake and throw straight into the freezer so they will be fresh and ready to add on the day you make those time consuming cut out cookies, which will be all you have time for.
The first recipe, Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies, comes from my sister in law and the folks at Ocean Spray. When our kids were very small, we used to congregate at my mother in law’s one day in December to bake the day away. We each made just two or three varieties, but en masse, so that at the end of the day we all had plenty to give out AND keep us happily snacking for the rest of the month! And the kids had each other to play with in between bouts of frosting sugar cookies and adding way too many sprinkles. Anyway, Allie made these, and when I came home with more cookie choices than any one home should have, Jason went straight for the oatmeal cranberry cookies. I guess sometimes siblings do think alike, although that is usually not the case with my sons.
As our kids grew and started school, it became harder to coordinate a solid day of baking, and before too long that particular tradition had faded and we were all baking from our own ovens when time permitted. You can bet that this is one recipe I got for my own kitchen immediately, and I think you all will appreciate how this relatively simple cookie adds a lot of dimension to the usual holiday assortment. The cranberries are seasonal and festive, and with some hearty oatmeal in the mix they have a texture and flavor that can balance out some of the other more sugary options you might include on your cookie plate.
Now, one area where I differ from the folks at Ocean Spray is in presentation. Their recipe is the one I use, but rather than just “drop” the cookies onto the sheet I roll the dough into 1″ balls before baking. Trust me when I say DO NOT shortcut this step. In addition to giving your cookies a more polished appearance, it gives them a lot more durability. Drop cookies tend to have very uneven edges and are easily broken. Rolling the cookies first gives them a far more uniform edge which will be less likely to crumble during freezing, thawing, and transport. The few extra minutes it takes you to roll the dough will be well saved in the time it would take to bake another batch of crumbled cookies.
Another favorite that I bake every year, are Gingersnaps. This is a recipe I got when my oldest was just a baby from a friend at the Petaluma Mothers Club. Amanda had the most amazing gingersnaps, so I asked for the recipe. And though she and I have lost touch, her cookies are a part of our Christmas every year. There is something about the combination of ginger, clove, and cinnamon that just smells so good! And though these are technically called “snaps” they have a chewy quality that makes them kind of perfect for cookie ice cream sandwiches with vanilla ice cream.
These are another one that require rolling, especially so because they are coated in sugar. But again the extra time is more than worth it for the assurance that your cookies will not just taste delicious, but also look good, too!
The full recipes are linked above where the cookie name is underlined. But just in case you missed it, you can find the full recipe for Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies here, and the full recipe for Gingersnaps here. I’ll be back on the weekend with another cookie recipe or two, so be sure to check back. Or better yet subscribe so you never miss a post!
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 egg
- In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the 1 cup sugar and shortening with an electric mixer until well combined. Beat in molasses. Beat in the egg. Add the flour mixture in two additions and beat until combined.
- Shape the dough into 1 inch balls. Roll balls in sugar and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake in 375° oven for 8-10 minutes, or until edges are set and tops are crackled.
- Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to wire racks and cool completely.