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Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

4.6 stars (28 ratings)

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Cranberry chocolate chunk oatmeal cookies are homemade, bakery-style cookies that are dad-approved to be sweet but not too sweet. They have just the right combination of tangy dried cranberries, dark chocolate chunks, and chewy oatmeal. While the name may be a mouthful to say, these chewy, buttery cookies are a mouthful worth eating. At our house, we just call them Dad’s Cookies.

One cranberry chocolate chunk oatmeal cookie leaning on a stack of four other cookies.

Dad Approved Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

When it comes to knowing a good cookie, I look no further than my dad’s expertise. He’s a self-proclaimed cookie expert whose favorite has always been oatmeal chocolate chip.

For his 62nd birthday, I sent him the very first batch of these cranberry chocolate chunk oatmeal cookies. Upon receiving them, he soon requested more. Since the recipe was still a work in progress, he happily volunteered to be my chief taste tester for the project, even though he lives 2,400 miles away.

As I made adjustments, I shipped every batch off to my dad for review. While some batches made the journey better than others, almost every cookie was analyzed and eaten. I knew we got it right when my dad confessed that these cookies had ruined him for any store-bought substitute. Win!!

The final result is a soft, chewy cranberry chocolate chunk oatmeal cookie with just the right amount of everything. We also learned a thing or two about shipping cookies cross-country.

Cranberry chocolate chunk oatmeal cookies on a cooling rack on a dark surface.

Making Bakery Style Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies at Home

To get the perfect cookie for my dad, I took a classic oatmeal cookie and a classic chocolate chip cookie and mashed them together with dried cranberries. The result is a bakery-style, soft, chewy cookie with crunchy, golden edges.

Like many homemade treats, these irresistible cookies depend on quality ingredients for the best results. Read on for my cookie-making tips and a few on cross-country shipping, too.

The Oatmeal

Oatmeal is arguably the most important ingredient in these cookies. It’s responsible for getting that perfectly chewy texture, which can make or break a great cookie. For the best results, you must use old-fashioned rolled oats (also called rolled oats), not steel-cut or instant oats. These are the same types of oats that I use when making my peanut butter oatmeal bars with honey or the oatmeal balls with maple syrup, and are the best for baking, whether you are topping a peach crisp or making brown sugar granola.

The Chocolate

These are chocolate chunk cookies, not chocolate chip cookies. Instead of a bag of chocolate chips, I use a bar of baking chocolate chopped into chunks. By chopping it yourself you end up with a combination of both chocolate shavings and larger chunks, resulting in bits of chocolate in every bite of cookie.

My recommendation is a Ghirardelli premium baking bar 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate. You can find it in the baking aisle near the chocolate chips. While this chocolate percentage is factored into the sweetness of the cookie overall, you can swap it out for any chocolate of your choice.

A 1/2 cup measuring cup holding dried cranberries sitting on a cutting board next to chopped chocolate.

Raisin vs. Craisin

Oatmeal raisin cookies are classic and loved by many, including my dad, but raisins aren’t my favorite. Dried cranberries, on the other hand, are something I keep in stock. I had them on hand while testing these cookies, so in they went. My dad liked the change, so the dried cranberries stayed.

The cranberries add a beautiful pink pop of color and their added tartness means the flavor stands out in a way that a raisin never could. It’s the same cranberries that I use in my cranberry apple stuffing and cranberry orange poppy seed bread. That said, if raisins are your thing, by all means swap the cranberries for raisins instead. Afterall, you are the one eating it.

Tips and Tricks

In all of my testing these are the details that stuck out the most to me. I hope they help your cookie making process, and ensure that you get gorgeous cookies every time.

  • Room temperature butter is important to getting the dough the right texture. If you forgot to set out your butter, speed things along by cutting the butter into smaller pieces or running it through a coarse grater, but DO NOT MELT THE BUTTER. The butter should be soft, creamy, and still able to hold its shape.
  • Creaming together the butter and sugar will take about five minutes with your mixer on low. You’ll know it’s done when it’s light and fluffy, almost like buttercream icing.
  • Measure your flour by using the spoon and scrape method. Use a spoon to stir your flour, then spoon scoopfuls into your measuring cup. Be careful not to compact the flour and use a straight edge to scrape off the excess. Do not shake it off or tamp down the flour.
  • To get the texture just right I recommend making twenty large cookies. Roll them into balls that are about an inch and a half wide, then press them flat to be about an inch tall and two inches wide. Bake six of them at once.
  • Line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat baking sheet. Both work reduce clean up time and work much better than a baking spray. I prefer the results with parchment and typically reuse the same sheet for additional batches.
Brown sugar, white sugar, and butter next to a stand mixer ready to be creamed for cookies.

Shipping the Cookies

When shipping homemade treats you don’t want it to take forever, but you also don’t want to pay an arm and a leg to get them there. I am a huge fan of the post office’s two day flat rate shipping boxes. The medium box easily holds a batch of these cookies, comes with insurance and tracking, and at less than $14 it’s much better than the prices I’ve been quoted elsewhere.

Before you ship, make sure the cookies have had a chance to cool completely and are packed in an airtight container. This keeps them as fresh as possible and controls the moisture level so the cookies arrive in the best condition. If you are using a non-breakable box to ship, crumple up the parchment paper you baked them on, and use it to add extra cushioning inside the box.

Also, don’t forget proper packaging materials between the cookies and the box. Cookies without cushioning will arrive as cookie bits, which aren’t nearly as fun to eat. I’ve had the most success with crumpled paper. It’s biodegradable, inexpensive, and provides a fair amount of cushion. I reuse the brown shipping paper from Amazon, but newspaper and junk mail inserts do a great job too.

Whatever you use, let the person at the post office know it’s breakable so they can mark it with the “fragile” stamps. I often think these are ignored, but it does seem to make a difference.

A single cookie with a bite out of it sitting on a piece of parchment on a dark surface with a cooling rack full of cookies in the background.

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Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

These bakery style cranberry chocolate chunk oatmeal cookies have become my go to cookie recipe. They are soft and chewy, with dark chocolate chunks and bits of dried cranberries, giving them the perfect balance of sweet and tart. They are my dad’s favorite cookie and I hope they will become yours as well.

If you like this recipe, please give it a FIVE-STAR rating, leave a comment, and share it on your favorite social channel!

One cranberry chocolate chunk oatmeal cookie leaning on a stack of four other cookies.

Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

Soft, chewy oatmeal cookies with dark chocolate chunks and tart, dried cranberries for the perfect balance of sweet. They are our family favorite and I hope they become one for you as well. 
4.6 stars (28 ratings)
prep: 20 minutes
cook: 18 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
total: 1 hour 38 minutes
servings: 20 cookies

Ingredients

DRY INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder

WET INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 TBSP milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Mix-Ins

  • 2.5 ounces dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  • Measure the 4 dry ingredients into a medium sized mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer combine the softened butter with the white and brown sugar. Cream together until light and fluffy – about 3 – 5 minutes in a mixer on low.
  • Add the vanilla, egg, egg yolk, and milk to the butter and sugar mixture and mix to combine.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet in two parts, stopping between additions to scrape down the sides of the bowl. The cookie dough will be very soft.
  • Chop up the chocolate into smaller chunks using a straight edge knife. Chunks can be any size you want, but I aim for 1/4″ or 1/2″ pieces. Add the chocolate (don’t forget all the crumbs!) and cranberries to the mixer and mix on low until just combined. 
  • Cover dough with plastic wrap or place into a resealable container and refrigerate at least 60 minutes.
  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees – convection oven to 325 degrees.
  • Roll cookies into 1 1/2″ balls. Line a 12 x 17 baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat liner. 
  • Place 6 cookie balls onto the baking sheet and press down to make 1″ tall by 2″ wide cookies. Bake 18 minutes, or until the edges have turned golden brown.
  • Prior to storing, allow the cookies to cool completely on a cooling rack.

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Notes

For evenly baked cookies, don’t forget to turn the pans around halfway through the cook time. If you are baking more than one pan at a time, make sure to swap top and bottom when you are rotating the pans. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookieCalories: 236kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 3gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 164mgFiber: 1gSugar: 19g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is for general information purposes only. For the most accurate information, calculate using your select brands and exact measurements.

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About Renee N Gardner

I'm the recipe developer, food photographer, and mastermind behind Renee Nicole's Kitchen, where I help create kitchen confidence to inspire home cooks to become home chefs. No fancy fads here, just high-quality, homemade recipes featuring seasonal ingredients.

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9 Comments on “Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies”

  1. 5 stars
    Made these last night and they came out amazing! The cranberry was such a fun flavor twist that blended so well with the chocolate chunks and oatmeal. Thanks for the great recipe!

    Reply
  2. These turned out really good! Your directions are helpful, including temperature for convection oven. Very tasty! I think next time I might chop up the cranberries a bit as well. I also added a bit of cinnamon. Thanks for posting.

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    I just made these cookies! The chocolate is spot on and the cranberries add a really nice tarty touch! My husband is a fan as well so this will definitely be in our cookie rotation.

    Reply
  4. 5 stars
    Great recipe. These cookies are so good!
    I love your tips for sending these across country!
    I have a friend who has recently had a baby, but she is interstate so I couldn’t take her a fresh meal. But a box of cookies in the mail is be perfect. They are winging their way to her as we speak.
    Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
4.58 from 28 votes (24 ratings without comment)

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