Flaxseed is one of those healthy ingredients that is easy to sneak into foods, increasing the nutritional value by at least a little bit without really changing the taste or texture of what you’re making. The tiny seeds – about the size of sesame seeds – are slightly crunchy and have a very subtle nutty flavor. They’re best used when they have been ground into a fine meal, as that is when their nutrients are most easily absorbed by the body. They are very high in Omega-3 fatty acids, are fairly low in calories (about 65 per 2 tbsp, ground) and contain a good amount of fiber, as well as other nutrients.
These cookies were inspired by some cookies I spotted on the shelf at Trader Joe’s, and do include some ground flaxseeds to up their nutritional content. That said, they’re still cookies, but with oatmeal, cranberries and flaxseeds, you can probably feel pretty good about eating them. And they taste good, too.
The cookies have a very subtle nuttiness from the ground flaxseed, but are otherwise fairly typical oatmeal cookies. Fresh out of the oven, they have a crispy exterior and an moist interior. The get a bit softer and chewier once they are stored. Instead of defaulting to cinnamon to flavor the cookies, as many oatmeal cookie recipes do, I opted to leave these fairly plain. As a result, you get to taste the flavor of oats, butter, vanilla and nutty flaxseeds in the cookies, as well as the bright sweet-tart flavor of the dried cranberries. If you want to mix things up a bit, feel free to use your favorite dried fruit instead of the cranberries, or to spice this up with cardamom or cinnamon for a little variety.
Oatmeal Cranberry Flaxseed Cookies
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats (not instant oatmeal)
1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugars, eggs, vanilla extract and ground flaxseeds until mixture is smooth.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Pour in wet ingredients and stir until almost combined, then add in the oats and dried cranberries and stir until the dough comes together with no streaks of flour remaining.
Drop 1-inch balls of cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets, leaving a little room for the cookies to spread.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are set. The tops of the cookies should have very minimal browning, and the bottoms should be only light brown.
Cool for a minute on the baking sheet, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 2 1/2-3 dozen.