Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love Williams-Sonoma. I've never had a problem with things I've bought or gifts I've received from there. I love going in and browsing: the flooring, the lighting, the aroma - everything about the place screams top-notch marketing. I worked there one holiday season, and I even liked the customers. (I've done a lot of retail work in my day, and Black Friday is not a pretty sight, but at W-S it wasn't bad.) I think that every customer is pleasantly overwhelmed by the store's atmosphere and you just can't help but be at ease. Plus, there's always free food and drink, and there's nothing wrong with that! I realize that some people might consider the store, and its recipes, somewhat pretentious, but that's just silly. For any cook or food blogger I'd have to say the store is a dream land. And once in awhile I pull out one of their cookbooks and escape ....

Awhile ago I decided to start eating oatmeal for breakfast. I'm still working on this goal, however, because as a grits-eater I have a bit of trouble with oatmeal's consistency. But I'm trying because I know it's good for me, and its energy density is fabulous for a breakfast food. But a whole container? That's a lot of oatmeal! So I did what any baker would do: I made cookies! And these are great cookies. I shared them with church friends and they disappeared quickly. They're also pretty and uniformly shaped, which makes the perfectionist inside of me quite happy.

Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Cookies
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma: Weekends with Friends
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1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup walnuts, chopped, optional
1 cup dried cranberries, optional

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat well.
3. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and stir with a spoon until just blended. Fold in the oats, nuts and cranberries, if using. The batter will be very stiff.
4. Drop by tablespoon-fulls onto prepared sheets, about two inches apart. Bake about 14 minutes, or until the edges of cookies are just brown. Let cool on sheets a couple of minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.