We haven’t had a Christmas tree since… 2004, I believe. Because at the end of 2005 there were some major changes going on with our family (i.e., divorce), and we got rid of all the Christmas decorations. I could be wrong, perhaps we put up the tree one last time. Buuuut I doubt it.
It was a fake tree and I was never that fond of it. I always wanted a real tree but my parents were lame, so I just took pleasure in general decoration duties. I put up the tree, arranged the little nativity scene, the Christmas village, wreath, etc. I listened to Andy Williams’ Christmas record. Like, a REAL record. We had a freakin’ record player. Unfortunately we didn’t have any cool albums. Not even a single Beatles record. Like I said, my parents were lame. We got rid of the records and player too.
And as you may recall, we moved a lot after 2005. We didn’t bother to buy any other decorations. When you lack permanent storage space, you lack motivation to purchase items that will only be used one month out of the year. Kinda bums me out a bit, but I don’t take holidays too seriously anymore, so no biggie. I figure when I get my own place, I’m gonna get all crafty and decorate MY way. Until then, I embellish the apartment by baking…
And these cookies in particular match the season perfectly…
Cranberry & Pistachio Oatmeal Cookies
3/4 cup flour (I used whole wheat. This recipe is not very picky.)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 scant cup pistachios, coarsely chopped (salted ones are good, they give contrast to the sweet cranberries)
1 scant cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup faux butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar (or use white sugar, and add a spoonful of molasses)
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp flaxseed meal
3 Tbsp non-dairy milk (you can use water if you’re desperate)
1 1/2 cups oats (quick or old-fashioned are fine)
1) In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and nutmeg. Stir in the pistachios and cranberries. Set aside.
2) Place the sugar (and molasses if you’re using it) in a large bowl. Add the melted butter and whisk together. It will probably look clumpy and oily. Don’t worry. Add the vanilla, flaxseed, and milk. Whisk some more and watch it become smooth and cohesive. Yaaay.
3) With a wooden spoon, stir in the oats.
4) Now stir in the flour, cranberries and pistachios.
5) Tastes like granola. This dough is pretty crumbly (like granola). Of course, what do you expect when it’s got oats, dried fruit, and nuts?
6) I won’t blame you if you bake it right away, but you should turn the dough onto some waxed paper and smoosh it together. Wrap it up and chill for a couple of hours.
7) To bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. The dough may need to soften at room temperature for a bit. You can make these cookies whatever size you want. Because of all the chunks, rolling the dough by hand is a pretty good method, but an ice cream scoop should work fine as well. Flatten the cookies a bit before baking. They should take around 10 minutes, depending on the size, but you’ll know when the edges are firm and dry. Even if the center is not set, you can take them out and they’ll continue cooking. Cool, eat, celebrate.
They can take away Andy Williams, but they can’t take away my preciouusss…