My sweet tooth takes no prisoners. Earlier today I made a meatloaf, complete with a bacon topping – yum! Sadly, it went into the freezer as part of my meal prep for the coming weeks. Still, it got me thinking about making a dessert that would go well with it.
Chocolate chip cooks are as American as apple pie. And you know what else is? Cast iron skillets, that’s what. I’ve made a couple of skillet cookies before, but this one is the hands-down favorite with the kids and really easy to put together.
If you don’t have a cast iron skillet (what?!) you can also use a baking pan. But you’ll be better off waiting two days for this beauty to arrive.
I’ve been a little bit of a lazy dessert cook of late – too much business travel, various commitments, etc. But after spending $2.00 at WalMart buying a box of a dozen cookies, I felt guilty enough to dust off my apron and make some bar cookies.
Glazed Oatmeal Cranberry Bars
Many cookie recipes can be baked into bars, and that is what I did here. Taking a relatively easy oatmeal cookie recipe, added cranberries (I got a really good deal on dried cranberries a while back), and spread into a pan. The glaze is what makes the difference between ho-hum and 'wow, this taste fantastic!'.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set aside a 13x9 baking pan (no need to grease)
In a large bowl, combine together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside
In a separate bowl, cream butter, eggs, and sugars together.
Add eggs and vanilla to the creamed mixture, beating well
Add creamed mixture to the large bowl of dry ingredients. Mix well, preferably by hand.
Add oatmeal, cranberry. Again, best results come from mixing by hand, in my opinion.
Spread in baking pan, using spatula to even out
Bake for 30-35 minutes, checking after 25 minutes.
Powdered Sugar Glaze
I don't really measure well. You're making a glaze by starting with 1 cup powdered sugar, 2tsp of vanilla, and 1/4c milk. Depending, you may need to add more milk or sugar to get the consistency you want. I like mine to be close to a spread, but pourable.
When ready, place into pastry bag (or a sandwich bag and snip an end) and spread across the bars after they've cooled for about 10 minutes.
Oatmeal cookies are my favorite. Totally dunkable, they are made even better with raisins – I’m a traditionalist that way. But the other day when I got a hankering to make some, I realized I didn’t have any raisins. But…I had dried cranberries, which I’d intended for scones. They’ll have to wait.
On a lark, I decided to make a glaze for the cookies, seeing that I was already pot-committed to doing these up a little different. Nothing fancy, but I thought it was visually appealing in addition to adding a little to the taste and texture.
These cookies are thin and chewy, which I prefer. Be careful to watch them, as your oven temperature may vary just enough to cause them to burn.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder. Set aside.
In another bowl, cream the butter and sugars well. Add the eggs, and vanilla.
Combine the cream mixture into the large bowl of flour mixture, mixing well.
Add the cranberries and oatmeal.
Drop by rounded 2 tablespoons, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, monitoring closely to your oven's temperament. Let cool before moving to cooling rack for glazing.
Combine confectioner's sugar and butter. Slowly add apple juice until it is at a point where it drizzles easily.
When cookies are cool, use a fork to drizzle glaze. Let dry before packing, using wax paper or parchment paper between layers.