This Oatmeal Cranberry Cookie recipe has become a family favorite! You can make it with chunks of your favorite chocolate candy.
Baking with Holiday Candy
My oldest kids are busy with finals, so we will wait until they are done with school to make and decorate sugar cookies. But I needed a fun activity for my little guy who is getting impatient and wants to “start holidaying”. I decided to use the Nestle Crunch Jingles in oatmeal cookies. Jingles are bell-shaped candies and I thought the shaped chocolate would be a fun alternative to chocolate chunks or chocolate chips. We found a recipe for Mrs. Claus’ Favorite Oatmeal Cookies at Nestle Seasonal Recipes. I was intrigued by the combination of cranberries, chocolate, and nuts in oatmeal cookies and my little guy was excited about baking with me.
However, it doesn’t take long for stirring to become experimenting: “It’s rain”… “it’s lava”… it’s taken away by mommy and he is given a new task. 🙂
It doesn’t take long for helping to become eating. Only one Crunch Jingle on the cutting board, but two or is that three, empty wrappers and chocolate on the face.
I’m moving right along with my tasks and offer to help my son unwrap the jingles. He insists that he doesn’t need help and I wonder if that means he can unwrap them on his own or eat them on his own. Probably both. 🙂
I’m just waiting for the Crunch Jingles…
Oh, no. My son tossed them all in. I was going to strategically and artfully place some of the jingles on top of the cookies. Well, at least they will still taste good.
Can you see the bells? Me either. Do cookies with chocolate bells in them taste as good, if you can’t tell they are bells? They do if you use Nestle Crunch Jingle Bells. My husband said the cookies “taste like an amalgamation of everything that’s good”. My son is pretty sure that they turned out so well because of all of his help. And I am sure he is right!
These Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies with Chocolate Chunks may be the best oatmeal cookies ever! And using Crunch Jingles makes them a great treat to “ring in” the New Year, so I will be serving these cookies at our New Year’s party.
We leave our holiday decorations up until the Epiphany on January 6th, so I have bought extra candy bells to use in baking and decorating through our last party on Twelfth Night.
You can find the recipe for Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies below. If you make them, keep some of the quartered jingles out of the dough and place them on top of the cookie dough, so everyone can easily see the bells once the cookies are done baking.
Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies Recipe with Chocolate Chunks
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cups quick oats
- 1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 20 NESTLÉ CRUNCH Jingles, unwrapped and cut into quarters or 1 cup of chocolate chunks
- Preheat your oven to 375° F.
- Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
- Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Stir in the milk, egg, and vanilla extract until it is fully incorporated.
- Gradually stir in the flour mixture. Stir in the oats.
- Add the cranberries, nuts, and most of the Nestle Crunch Jingles. Stir until evenly distributed throughout the batter.
- Drop the dough by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets. Add the remaining Jingle pieces to the tops of the cookie dough and gently press into the dough.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
Decorating with Holiday Candy
We used candy to decorate oatmeal cranberry cookies and gingerbread houses. We added candy to our tree and will use it in our holiday tablescape, but we have one very special decorating tradition that involves candy canes. Each year we fill our “candy cane” house with candy canes.
My grandmother made the candy cane house for us when I was very young. My mom sent it to me after I had my first child, so it is one of my childhood traditions that I am able to share with my children. This time we used Spree candy canes because I liked the colors.
The Candy Cane House doesn’t stay full for long with my oldest son around, so this year I bought him his own box of candy canes. I didn’t tell him, but when he was helping me put away the groceries, he saw them and knew they were for him. He broke into them, and thanked me for buying him “SweetTarts Candy Canes; the best candy canes ever!”.
I have traditional candy canes on hand as well, but I have been using them in candy bark recipes like my Double Mint Holiday Bark:
And in my Easy Peppermint Bark: