Since the chocolate chip cookie was invented in 1939, the recipe has been changed many times to incorporate peanut butter, nuts, cinnamon, spices, caramel, or whatever flavor people preferred.  Nowadays, as health conscientiousness grows, along with gluten allergies, there’s a lot of guilt associated with the classic treat.
As the holiday season begins, along with the dreary cold of winter, there might be more cravings for this nostalgic comfort food. Fortunately, there are many recipes available with healthy variations for those vegan and/or sensitive to gluten and sugar. This recipe of Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies is a treat that can be enjoyed fully by all.
About White Chocolate
One important ingredient in this recipe is white chocolate, a flavor that is very hit or miss when it comes to food preferences. It’s also not always considered ‘real chocolate.’
When chocolate is being processed, the cacao beans are roasted and ground into a paste that is pressed through a machine that separates the cocoa mass from the cocoa butter. The mass is grated into cocoa powder, which is often sold as its own product, while cocoa butter is used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Or it’s mixed with sugar, milk powder, and vanilla to create white chocolate.
Unfortunately, many companies add coconut or palm kernel oil to their white chocolate to increase their production. Also, many white chocolate bars’ first ingredient is sugar, which explains its intense sweetness that can turn people off of its taste. We have included a recipe below for homemade white chocolate chips with minimal ingredients and no refined sugar. Although it’s an extra step, it’s well worth it to create a healthier batch of oatmeal cookies. Who knows, it may even win over the white chocolate naysayers.
While many people may not enjoy white chocolate on its own, it’s delicious when paired with cranberries in a freshly baked cookie. The tartness of the cranberries is the perfect contrast to the sweetness of white chocolate.
White Chocolate Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
- 1 cup coconut butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cup coconut sugar*
- 2 eggs or use a ‘Flegg’ [Flax Egg] as a vegan substitute**
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups old fashioned oats, certified gluten-free
- 1 cup fresh cranberries, quartered
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup white chocolate chips (**see below for homemade sugar-free recipe)
* If you’re looking to avoid sugar completely, try replacing the coconut sugar with the same amount of an all-natural 1:1 sweetener, like monk fruit.
** For other plant-based options when replacing eggs in baking, check this article out!
- Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
- In a large mixing bowl, blend the coconut butter and sugar together until creamy.
- Mix in the eggs one at a time.
- Then add the vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until the dough is well-combined.
- Stir in the oats, cranberries, pecans and white chocolate chips. (If you use the homemade recipe, add the white chocolate chips last, while they are cold from the freezer. This will help them keep their shape while baking.)
- Drop about a tablespoon of dough onto a lined cookie sheet, leaving about two inches of space between each cookie.
- Press gently on each cookie with damp hands.
- Bake the cookies for approximately 10–12 minutes or until they are beginning to brown around the edges.
- Cool on a cooling rack.
**Homemade Sugar-Free White Chocolate Chips
- ⅔ cup cacao butter
- 1½ tablespoons coconut oil
- ¼ cup dry coconut milk powder
- ¼ cup powdered monk fruit sweetener
- pinch of salt
- In a double boiler or microwave, melt the cacao butter and coconut oil. Mix the two ingredients are they’re combined.
- Add the remaining ingredients and whisk (or blend) everything until smooth.
- Place the chocolate chip molds on a flat plate or baking sheet.
- Pour the white chocolate mixture into the molds. You can use a baking syringe or small piping bag to fill the molds with less mess.
- Place the tray of filled molds onto a flat surface in the freezer until the white chocolate has hardened.
- Once hardened, carefully pop the chocolate chips out of their molds. Be sure to store the white chocolate chips in the freezer to keep their shape.
- When you’re ready to use the homemade chips in cookies (and other baked goods), it’s best to prepare your dough and refrigerate it for 10–15 minutes before folding in white chocolate chips. This will help prevent the chips from melting into the dough while the cookies are being shaped.
- Once the frozen chips are in your batter, get them into the oven as quickly as possible.
- Store in an airtight container in the freezer. 
Yields 1 cup white chocolate chips.
- Jon Michaud. Sweet Morsels: A History of the Chocolate-Chip Cookie. The New Yorker. https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/sweet-morsels-a-history-of-the-chocolate-chip-cookie December 19, 2013
- David Lebovitz. What is White Chocolate? https://www.davidlebovitz.com/white-chocolate/ February 5, 2006
- Alyssia Sheikh. Mind Over Munch. Homemade Sugar-Free White Chocolate Chips. https://mindovermunch.com/recipes/sugar-free-white-chocolate-chips/ July 6, 2019