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Hey guys! It's the first Monday after the new year! How does that make you feel? Sad? Happy? Tired? Hungry?
Oh, you don't know? Well, don't worry, I don't know how this Monday is making me feel either, except for a little hungry and a lot tired. The husband returned back to work full time (these past four days have been amazing) and I am back to my normal schedule of playdates sandwiched between errands, diaper changes, and naps (which means work time for me!).
Before becoming a Mom, I had a much harder time adjusting to "normal" life after a trip or holiday break. I mean, as if life wasn't easy enough, somehow life became even easier. However, deciding to procreate somehow changed all this Who knew? Now, even on breaks and vacations, there is no easy and there definitely is no relaxing, so returning back to normal really isn't all that difficult.
Unless... maybe, just maybe, I'm doing it all wrong and there is a way to have a relaxing break with a very mommy-attached toddler who likes to climb up and onto everything, refuses to sleep without you in the same room and whose new favorite phrases are "being naughty" and "no, tank you" (yes, at least he has manners).
Please tell me I'm doing it wrong!
I think I know what you're going to say, so I won't get my hopes up. Instead, i'll just going to look on the bright side, at least I'll continue to have an easy time readjusting to normal life after the holidays.
And for you, to make the bounce back a little easier, I made Oatmeal Cookies with Craisins® Dried Cranberries, Chocolate Chips and Pecans because life is always a little sweeter with a cookie in hand.
One of my favorite ingredients this season has been Craisins® Original Dried Cranberries.
They're sweet, slightly tart and help bring a dull dish to life thanks to the deep red natural cranberry color. Craisins® also add a little zing to salads, rice dishes, cereal, oatmeal, and, of course, cookies! Besides, just 1/4 cup of Craisins® provides 1/2 cup serving of fruit. Sweet! (pun intended)
My cheeky toddler also loves Craisins® and will demand to have his own share of "canbeawies" whenever he sees the bag. I love to mix a little bag for him to-go with mixed nuts and Craisins® Reduced Sugar Dried Cranberries.
I also picked up a couple bags of the Craisins® Fruit Clusters.
These Delicious, fruity nuggets are perfect for tiny toddler hands and come in two flavors, Cranberry Almond or Cranberry Granola.
As you can imagine, we go through A LOT of dried cranberries in our household, but no need to rush out and buy the biggest bag in the store. Thankfully all Craisins® Dried Cranberries come in several package sizes and flavors. Annnnd, just in case you're like me and end up walking out with the entire store when you only went in for one thing (seriously, every single time), you can find Craisins® Dried Cranberries and Craisins® Fruit Clusters in the dried fruit section of your local Walmart.
Now that we all have some dried cranberries, let's have some cookies.
Grab a big glass of milk and prepare yourself for soft, chewy, buttery oatmeal pieces of heaven highlighted by tart cranberries, crunchy pecans and bitter chocolate chips.
See, Monday isn't so bad after all.
Chewy Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries, Chocolate Chips and Pecans
Prep Time: 15 min / Cook Time: Approximately 12 minutes / Total Time: 27 minutes
Yield: Approximately 24-28 cookies
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, brought to room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
3 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup Craisins® Original Dried Cranberries
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy (approximately 3 minutes). Turn the mixer down to low and add in each egg, one at a time, making sure to mix between each addition. Add the vanilla extract and almond extract and beat until combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Finally, using a wooden spoon, fold in the oats, Craisins®, pecans and chocolate chips until just combined.
Using a small ice-cream scooper or spoon, place approximately 2 inch scoops of dough (about 2 large tablespoons) onto a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Using your hand, gently flatten the top just slightly.
Bake cookies for approximately 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool for approximately 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Do you love cooking and baking with Craisins®? Leave me a comment with some of your favorite recipes below!