Updated: Jan 5, 2022
Ah, the holidays. Stress. Depression. Overwhelm….wait WHAT? Time to refocus on family with my Healthier Holiday Cranberry White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies.
These cookies are the perfect way to spend time with family and enjoy a holiday dessert - that's totally delicious, (and just a bit healthier).
*BONUS! An easy, DIY, holiday gift idea that your friends and family will love. Find it beneath the recipe!
Take Things Day by Day
Every year I look back on the fond memories I’ve collected over the holidays. The pleasant ones, like listening to the sound of my daughter on Christmas morning as she got her first glimpse of the dollhouse Santa brought her. I can still remember the gasp.
And the not-so-pleasant ones, like the day, way back in my corporate life, I drove around the Walmart parking lot for 25 minutes of my one-hour lunch break. I finally found a spot and as I breathed a sigh of relief and began to turn the wheel, it was ganked by a heavyset older gentleman with unkempt hair in a faded red Taurus.
I yelled out a not-so-jovial “MERRY CHRISTMAS”.
Every year I must remind myself to relax, and enjoy the holidays. Don’t over-schedule, learn to say no, get things done early and expect to screw something up – but make it through with grace.
The second challenge is the food. Are you with me on this one? Let’s say it together. Ugh!!!! Cream sauces, heavy, massive amounts of meats, and sugar-laden desserts leave people with holiday weight gain to battle along with the stress.
This year is no different. I figure if I put it out there, you can hold me accountable. So here goes: I vow to slow down, take a deep breath, get shopping done early and spend some time with my daughter who’s getting too big, too fast (can she really be thirteen?!). We’ll do some baking together and if a mess is made, it’s ok. We’ll clean it up and move forward. I challenge you to do the same and post your photos!
Let’s even create a hashtag. Umm….. how about #HOLIDAYSLOWDOWN. What do you think??
Kicking Things Off
To start the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season off right, we decided to make these Healthier Cranberry White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies together.
I wanted to stay completely away from refined sugar but Gabby wanted something more traditional, so we compromised. I snuck in half whole wheat flour in this recipe, cause I'm a fiber nut. Fiber feeds the good microbes in our gut, keeps our insides squeaky clean, and slows the absorption of sugars. Her goal, on the other hand, was to add dairy-free, white chocolate chips and enough sweetener to make them a traditional holiday cookie.
Note: These are not appropriate if you’re in the initial process of removing sugar and processed foods from your diet. This is for a point where you’ve achieved stability and know what your trigger foods are.
A White Chocolate Alternative
As an alternative, you can try making your own white chocolate morsels! I like this recipe with cocoa butter, stevia, and vanilla.
A New Family Tradition
I think you're going to love the sweet-tart flavor of the cranberries with the sweetness of the white chocolate. We've tested these with LOTS of families and we always get rave reviews. We encourage you to make them with your kiddos - of any age!
Cranberry White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Yields: 20 cookies
1 ¼ cup flour (I used half whole-wheat and half all-purpose, but feel free to use all-purpose for all of it.)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil or Earth Balance butter, room temperature
1/4 cup club soda (yes, you read that right!)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Stir together flour, baking soda, salt, oats, coconut palm sugar, and brown sugar. In a second bowl mix the wet ingredients until fluffy. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry. Add the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries.
2. Spoon 20 cookies onto parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Holiday Gift Idea: White Chocolate Cranberry Cookie Mix Jar
Prep Time: 15 mins
Ingredients (1 jar):
1 quart (32 OZ) jar with lid OR pint size Jute or twine to attach a tag
1 ¼ cup flour (for pint jar ½ cup + 2 tbsp)
½ teaspoon baking soda (pint: ¼ tsp)
½ teaspoon salt (pint: ¼ tsp)
½ cup old fashioned oats (pint: ¼ cup)
⅓ cup coconut palm sugar (pint: 3 tbsp)
⅓ cup brown sugar (pint: 3 tbsp)
½ cup white chocolate chips (dairy-free such as Bakers Choice or King David brand) (pint: ¼ cup)
1 cup dried cranberries (pint: ½ cup)
In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In the jar, layer ingredients in this order, pressing each down between additions: flour mixture, oats, half the dried cranberries, brown sugar, white sugar, remaining cranberries, and white chocolate chips.
Seal and attach a gift tag. *TIP: A funnel is very helpful when adding the flour.
Click the below image to get a printable version of these labels.
You’re eyeing the phone for takeout after work because you’re too tired to think of what to make for dinner.
Put the phone down and pick up my 6 Ingredient or Less Cookbook.
Home-cooked. Simple. Fast.
Dawn Hutchins is a plant-based lifestyle educator, author, and self-taught chef. She holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition through Cornell University and the T. Colin Campbell Foundation and is a certified Nutritional Therapist with a focus on epigenetics. Discover the benefits that over 35,000 people have experienced through her recipes, cookbooks, and revolutionary programs, learning how to eat more whole, plant foods – and loving it!