Magic 5 Cookies, Holiday Edition
And today, we’re kicking it old-school with a classic favorite: oatmeal cookies! Their magical name comes from 7 layer bars, aka magic bars aka hello dollies, aka whatever the kids are calling them these days. I typically call them 7 layer bars or magic bars, but what’s in a name? No matter what they’re called, you’ll get a bar piled high with any combination of sweet, crunchy, nutty, sticky, and chocolate-y that you can imagine. I shared a favorite version here! And, 6 months ago, I shared a cookie version with 5 add-ins. Thus, magic 5 cookies.
And today it’s time for a holiday rendition of magic 5 cookies, including sweet-tangy dried cranberries, creamy white chocolate chips, crunchy pecans, oats, cinnamon, and shredded coconut. With so many little pockets of flavor and texture, it’s practically impossible to eat just one. In fact when I served these at our Friendsgiving party, friends raved over them. One of Kevin’s friends, who says he “doesn’t like oatmeal cookies or white chocolate” ended up eating 3 in a row…
Slow Bend Cookie
What is your essential oatmeal cookie like? Is it crispy and crunchy or soft and tender? Mine’s somewhere in between with enough chew to make a salt water taffy jealous. Today’s jam-packed cookies are just that: they have slightly crisp edge with a soft center and enough chew that it won’t immediately break when you bend it. A “slow bend cookie” as I like to call them. They’re super dense and hearty with that distinct nutty, toasty oatmeal cookie taste. I love these!
To make them this fantastically chewy, we’ll use more brown sugar than white sugar. In fact, most of the cookie’s sweetness and flavor will come from moist and soft brown sugar. Adding to that flavor is a Tablespoon of molasses. The molasses is an optional ingredient, but I find that Tablespoon makes ’em taste like grandma’s classic oatmeal cookies. I add it to nearly all my oatmeal cookies.
Most of the chew, however, comes from the oats. They’re the base of these cookies, giving them all of their character. Use thick old-fashioned whole rolled oats, not quick oats– which are more powdery and thinner. Less texture with ’em.
Besides the brown sugar and oats, we’ve got 2 eggs. Eggs will not only structure the cookie (the protein in the whites) but keep them soft and tender (the fat in the yolks). Lots of creamed butter for flavor and because they’re so buttery, we need to make sure we chill the cookie dough. It’s only for an hour or so. During that time you can turn up your holiday tunes and dust up all the glitter I know your Christmas decorations are expelling. I’m decorating our Christmas tree tonight and might as well keep the vacuum parked next to it. My ornaments are glitter factories.
Have fun with the add-ins. You can sub chopped pistachios for the pecans, semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips for the white chocolate, raisins for the cranberries (YAY!!! ♥ ♥ ♥) and/or leave out the coconut if you’re not a fan.
Some of you may have enormous patience to decorate sugar cookies all day long, but if you’re the kind of cookie lover who just wants to get the job done and move onto the next project (more cookies, I’m sure) then these are for you. There’s no royal icing or piping tips, rather just a mixer, a baking sheet, and a truckload of holiday flavor!
Magic 5 Cookies, Holiday Edition
- 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups (240g) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon molasses (optional, see post above)
- 1/2 cup each: white chocolate chips (90g), dried cranberries (60g), sweetened shredded coconut (40g), chopped pecans (64g)
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and oats together. Set aside.
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and beat on high until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and molasses and mix on high until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. With the mixer running on low speed, add the white chocolate, dried cranberries, coconut, and pecans. Dough will be thick, yet very sticky. Chill the dough for 1 hour in the refrigerator (and up to 2-3 days). If chilling for longer than a few hours, though, allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling and baking because the dough will be quite hard and the cookies may not spread.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
- Roll balls of dough (about 1.5 tablespoons of dough per cookie) and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 10-11 minutes until very lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. While the cookies are still warm, I like to press a few more white chocolate chips into the tops-- this is only for looks!
Make ahead tip: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 4. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
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