White Chocolate, Cranberry and Apple Oatmeal Cookies

White Chocolate, Cranberry and Apple Oatmeal Cookies ~ This is a seasonal holiday cookie that is always in my Christmas cookie lineup.

White Chocolate, Cranberry and Apple Oatmeal Cookies

White Chocolate, Cranberry and Apple Oatmeal Cookies

During the season I give my traditional oatmeal cookie a quick change out with some cranberries and chopped apples for a holiday makeover.  Of course I could make this year around, but I like to keep some things seasonal for tradition.

This year I have to admit, my cookie box tradition is looking kind of anemic. I haven’t baked as many cookies as I usually do.  And so of course having a tendency for maniac episodes of obsessive behavior, I have been fretting that my blogging mania has hindered my annual cookie box fest.

Yes, there I said it, obsessive behavior. I love baking and always have, add blogging to the equation and it pushes me to learn more and do more. But it’s the photography portion of it that makes me obsessive.

I struggle to set up the composition, I worry about the lighting and I will even move things an insignificant 1/8 of an inch for the perfect framing. I drive myself crazy with minutiae, but I’m hoping with practice the photography will come to me with some ease like my baking. Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of baking struggles and baking failures in my kitchen, but for some reason those don’t eat at me like my struggling photography skills.

Having said that, the other day instead of pitching my camera across the room I laid it down nicely. I disassembled my photo session for the day and headed for the kitchen to make a batch of what you see in the picture.

A few notes:

  • You can change out any of the add-in portions as you like. Oatmeal cookies are highly adaptable.
  • Keep in mind the baking time is not long enough to soften the apples, so dice them to the size of your preference for taste and texture. Alternatively, you can also use the largest hole on a cheese grating box for a more subtle apple bite.
  • To work quickly and with a little less mess, I use a small 1 1/2 inch ice cream scoop to drop the cookie dough onto a bake sheet. If you don’t have one, a spoon will work fine.
  • The cookies can be kept in a tightly covered container on the counter up to 3-4 days.

White Chocolate, Cranberry and Apple Oatmeal Cookies

Makes 30-34 1 inch cookies

Preparation: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bake sheet with parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes.



  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 11/4cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon all-spice
  • 3 cups old-fashion rolled oats


  • 3/4 cup cranberries
  • 3/4 cup diced apples, peeled
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate, chips or chunks
  • 1/2 cup walnuts


1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, apple sauce and vanilla; beat well. Set aside. Combine add-in ingredients; set aside. Combine flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice and oatmeal using a wooden spoon or a sturdy spatula stir in butter mixture. Stir in add-in ingredients until combined. Use a small ice cream scoop to drop dough onto cookie sheet.

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  1. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Oh my gosh, I can totally relate to your obsessive frustration with photography. I’m an amateur myself and it takes me an hour or two of shooting to get one or two good shots for my blog. Grr. I guess only with practice makes perfect! :-) P.S. Those cookies look delicious! I saw a white chocolate chip cranberry cookie recipe recently, but the apple and oatmeal take it to the next level of goodness!

  2. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Nothing is more frustrating than: struggling to get the perfect photo of the food you want to share and a recipe failure. Both are equally annoying to me – one more than the other depending on the day. You’re not alone!
    I love cran-apple oatmeal cookies. I actually made some years back for something fun to do instead of raisins … what a wonderful change of pace! :)

  3. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    For what it’s worth, I think this photo is fantastic. Did you use special lighting? I might have to invest in something – the season has made it harder and I am not shooting as much. Bah. These cookies look wonderful – and perfect for the season! xo

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — December 10th, 2010 @ 5:59 pm

      Hi Michelle,

      During the fall and winter, I shoot inside, north facing. During summer months I shoot outside north facing in the shade. I know it seems backwards, but for my time of day it works for me. I use natural lighting, except when I shoot step-by-step photos then sometimes I shoot at night in my kitchen under those horrible fluorescent lighting. But I never shoot with artificial lighting for my main shot and that’s because I don’t own any.

  4. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    I’ve been forever frustrated with the photography, especially in the evening hours. My problems usually come from a family of 4 kids crawling all over, demanding to be fed. I think the cookies look delicious!

  5. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Don’t talk to me about photography!!! It’s blogs like yours that make me feel I have to do better!

    My problem is I don’t have the time to set up shots…I take photos by daylight and now in the winter we have none past 2.30 and on a bad day it’s gloomy by midday.

    And that’s my problem once I’ve baked or whipped or stewed I’m struggling between catching the remaining light and the 3 year grabbing my attention. I like the way you set up many of your photos…and yes I move things around ever so slightly too.

  6. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    the photos are beautiful, really; and while i know there are many of us who don’t think we are good enough photographers, i say this: look at some of your first photos and as long as you can see improvement, you’re doing just fine!! and taking a standard cookie, giving it a holiday twist is anything but anemic – brilliant is more like it!!!

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — December 11th, 2010 @ 4:14 am


      You have such a great way of making me feel better and putting things in the right perspective. Thank you!

  7. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Oh I so suck at photographing blog pictures. The lighting is always off and I don’t have a complete white space to shoot the pictures. I think I have to build one of those photography boxes Elissa mentioned on her blog 17 and Baking.

    On to the cookies….as soon as I saw the post on my FB, I had to come here and check these beauties out. They are mouth watering!! One question actually two questions.
    1) Why is it necessary to use the brown and white sugars? Can you not just use one of them?
    2) Since white chocolate is being used, can you cut down the sugar?

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — December 11th, 2010 @ 4:11 am

      Hi Hinna,

      Yes, you can cut down on the white chocolate chips. Actually, you can omit it completely.

      As for the sugars, dark brown sugar lends a more caramel like flavor and it makes the cookies more moist. You can use all white sugar, but it will make the cookies more crisp and taste slightly different.

  8. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    I could have written paragraph 4 VERBATIM–every single word and it would be 100% true. This reflects my own experience with food photography perfectly. But oh how I love it!

    Blogging has really cut into the baking of my family’s favorite goodies–like our traditional Christmas cookies. Can’t do everything. Sigh.

  9. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says


    I am so glad you posted this!! I love the twist on the traditional cookie – and am relieved that even you sometimes struggle with your photos – although looking at them one would never know that!!!

  10. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    I am mahorly stuggling with lighting and am dying to know the best artificial (and affordabel) lighting that food bloggers are using….ps, obsessed with white chocolate

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — December 17th, 2010 @ 1:45 am

      Hi Jennifer,

      I don’t use artificial lighting, but that’s partly because I don’t own any and also because I photograph with a point and shoot. Lighting is an issue for my point and shoot, so I only shoot in natural lighting for my lead shot. For some of my step-by-step photo panels I shoot under the flourescent lighting in my kitchen because I bake at night.

      I do know alot of blogger that use Lowell EGO lights and those start at $85 and go up from there.

      I’m sorry I wasn’t more help on this. But as side note, I think your photographs are awesome!

  11. Avatar for Naomi Robinsonalicia says

    How long are you baking them for? Im in the middle of making them..so I’ll just have to keep an eye on them

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — December 17th, 2010 @ 6:43 pm

      Hi Alicia,

      8-10 minutes. I’m adding that to the recipe now. Thanks for letting me know.

  12. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    These are delicious! One question, though. Mine turned out much flatter than yours in the picture. Any advice? Also, it’s 2 tsp. baking powder? And I assumed to add the oats after the flour mixture? Thanks!

    Your pictures and your baking are both beautiful!

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — December 21st, 2010 @ 10:11 pm

      HI Emily,
      Thanks. That’s actually 1/2 teaspoon of baking of powder. I have fixed it accordingly. And yes add the oats after the flour mixture.