Applesauce, oats, cranberries, dark chocolate and walnuts? Um, we're basically eating a salad here! Okay, okay, I know I'm dramatic, but these cookies pack some seriously good stuff. More importantly, they taste divine. Soft and chewy in the middle, slightly crisp around the edges and filled with cinnamon and nutmeg, they're like fall in a cookie!
So I have been dying to share these with you since I started working on them and after last week's sugar rush over on Instagram, I knew it was time for this hearty little gem to make an appearance. There are so many different notes floating around and they all work together creating that perfect bite. The applesauce is probably my favorite ingredient in here because it produces that ultimate chewy factor, which I think we can all agree is essential to a great cookie!
The other thing I love about these cookies, besides the flavor parade going on, is how versatile they are. If you don't have dried cranberries on hand, use raisins. Don't care for walnuts, use pecans. Dark chocolate or semisweet? It's totally up to you. I do prefer the dark chocolate though. It adds that depth of flavor that balances this party out beautifully.
Look at all those chunks of chocolate and cranberries peeking out of the dough! Good stuff!
Due to the applesauce, this is a very soft cookie dough so I recommend chilling the dough before baking the cookies. When the cookie dough is well chilled, it's much easier to scoop, the cookies will bake evenly and keep their shape.
When you scoop the dough and place them on a parchment-lined pan, make sure you give the cookies enough room to breathe because these are going to take up some space.
Next, I roll the cookie dough and press the dough down slightly in the center because these are really hearty cookies and you want to make sure they bake evenly. They end up looking like hamburger patties at this point.
If you're feeling salty, sprinkle the tops with a little sea salt and send them off to do their thing. If you're not into the sweet/salty combo, skip this bit and carry on!
Take them out about a minute before they're perfectly done because they'll continue to bake on the pan. These are definitely the kind of cookies that are impossible to keep your hands off of right out of the oven.
To sum it up:
Roll dough and press down (think hamburger patty)
Sprinkle with sea salt if you're feeling it.
Take them out of the oven about a minute before they're done because they will continue to bake on the cookie sheet.
As soon as you grab one and break into it, the melted dark chocolate immediately lets you know this was a good decision. And just when you think you're completely content with this whole situation, you get another pop of flavor. The sweetness from the dried cranberries works beautifully with the chocolate and the walnuts add that crunch factor. And that little sprinkle of sea salt adds that magical finish that makes it all come together brilliantly!
So much better than a salad.
I hope you guys give these a try and remember to keep sharing your bakes with me over on Instagram!
- 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 and 3/4 cups quick oats
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste or extract
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon whiskey
- 6 ounces (1 cup) semisweet or dark chocolate chips/chunks
- 6 ounces (1 cup) dried cranberries
- 4 ounces (1 cup) chopped walnuts
- Sea salt for sprinkling, if desired
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together flour, oats, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars for about 5 minutes.
- Add egg followed by applesauce, vanilla bean paste and whiskey, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Add dry ingredients, mixing just until combined.
- Add chocolate chips, dried cranberries and chopped walnuts.
- Wrap cookie dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate a minimum of 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Scoop cookie dough into 2 ounce portions and set on parchment-lined sheet pans.
- Roll cookie dough and gently press down in the middle.
- Sprinkle cookie dough with sea salt (if you're going that route) and bake for 15-18 minutes, rotating once halfway through.
- Remove cookies from oven and allow cookies to cool on the pan for 3-4 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
- Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Raisins can be substituted for the dried cranberries.
- Pecans can be substituted for the walnuts .
- You can use any chocolate you prefer.
- Take cookies out of the oven about a minute before they look perfectly done because they will continue to bake when you remove them from the oven.