Cookie Monster: White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
In the Vasios household, you never bought popcorn at the movies, you brought popcorn to the movies. My mom would stick a couple bags of Pop Secret in the microwave then stash them in her purse to carry into the show. I was such a rule-follower that I always worried that she was going to get caught ("What, these? But officer, I always carry around bags of popcorn...") and that we were going to get thrown out of the theater.
There's a movie theater on 23rd street in New York that had, and may well still have, a wall of candy bins next to the refreshment stand. There were all the goodies—gummy peaches, Sno-Caps, jelly raspberries. The first time I went with my own pocket money, I hit that wall of candy hard. I put a few of everything in my clear cellophane bag, intent on having the greatest candy-movie watching experience of all time.
I was a little dissapointed in the staleness of the gummy candies, and of course Sno-Caps are never quite what you hope they'll be. But some yogurt covered raisins that had found their way into my bag simply blew my mind. Now I find yogurt-covered fruit to be pretty sweet and the coating to have an unpleasant tongue-coating waxiness, but then, man, then I thought they were the best thing since Gushers. I loved fruit anything, and I loved white chocolate, which is what the yogurt closely resembles.
That's not to say that I've totally outgrown the white chocolate-fruit combination—or sneaking popcorn into the movies and being nervous about it— especially when it's quality white chocolate and tart cranberries. Because there is a certain level of sweetness and creaminess in white chocolate, I like to balance it in an oatmeal cookie. The oatmeal base isn't very sweet, so it needs the white chocolate to bring out the roasted honey notes of the oats.
These cookies bake up chewy. The edges are lightly crisp and golden, but the middle flexes and gives under your teeth. The cranberries add a little tartness that makes the perfect foil for chopped white chocolate. All in all, they're satisfying, fruity-sweet cookies that definitely deserve to be sneaked into the movies.