Magic 5 Cookies, Holiday Edition

Soft-baked white chocolate cranberry and pecan oatmeal cookies have the most unbelievable flavor and chew! Recipe on

We made it to recipe #3 in my annual cookie palooza! So far: red velvet whoopie pies and a total guide to baking rugelach (in partnership with King Arthur Flour!).

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.

Soft-baked white chocolate cranberry and pecan oatmeal cookies have the most unbelievable flavor and chew! Recipe on

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.

Soft-baked white chocolate cranberry and pecan oatmeal cookies have the most unbelievable flavor and chew! Recipe on

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!

Soft-baked white chocolate cranberry and pecan oatmeal cookies have the most unbelievable flavor and chew! Recipe on


Magic 5 Cookies, Holiday Edition

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 11 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 36 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Soft-baked white chocolate cranberry and pecan oatmeal cookies have the most unbelievable flavor and chew!


  • 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)


  1. Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and oats together. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer | 5-qt Tilt Head Glass Measuring Bowl | Silpat Baking Mat | Baking Sheet | White Plate

Keywords: magic 5 cookies, oatmeal cookies

See all cookie palooza recipes.


Soft-baked white chocolate cranberry and pecan oatmeal cookies have the most unbelievable flavor and chew! Recipe on
Soft-baked white chocolate cranberry and pecan oatmeal cookies have the most unbelievable flavor and chew! Recipe on


  1. my favorite cookies are all slow bend (i thought of limbo-ing at first lol) cookies! and i’ve long since embrace my grandma-like cookie preferences, so all the oats in here sound perfect (:

  2. I love the term slow bend – never heard it before! Can’t wait to try these, probably with cranberry and pistachio add-ins to make them look like the holidays. And I love that your plate has a reddish outline to match the cranberries. Oh, the little details!

  3. All my favorite things!!!! (Except citrus, haha) But I looooooove oatmeal cookies, craisins, and white chocolate! These look so good I can hardly stand it…maybe I should skip my test today and make these instead 😉

  4. Ok, these are about to get pinned so hard, white chocolate, cranberries, coconut AND pecans?? So much yes. I’m not usually allowed to put up the Christmas decorations until the second week of December (boo!), but these cookies are looking like a likely festive bake this week!

  5. I love a cookie with a little crunch on the outside but chewy on the inside.  And white chocolate and cranberries is one of my favorite combos!  I am making these this weekend!

  6. “Slow bend” is the perfect way to describe a perfect oatmeal cookie! I agree! 🙂 I LOVE a loaded cookie like this. The more add-ins, the better!

  7. Thanks so much for the recipes, i have the browned butter chocolate chips cookies chilling in the fridge,your browned butter pumpkin oat cookies  in the oven. Can’t wait to add these but What can i use instead of the molasses i cant find any were i’m froom? Is maple syrup good substitute or will it destroy the tastes and hold 

  8. I love oatmeal cookies; m&ms and butterscotch chip versions are my favourite. I made your other magic 5 cookies before (leaving out the coconut oh no…) and they were a huge hit. Loved the double chip flavours pairing up; this version feels even more like Fall and the holidays and Christmas. I’m sure your Christmas tree is stunning, Sally! Do you ever decorating it with baking supplies? My mom got me a cupcake ornament last year and a whisk ornament the year before. It’s so fun to personalize your Christmas tree with fun things about yourself 🙂 Anyways, can’t wait for the weekend when I’m starting in on all my Christmas baking! So far, I’ve decided I’m making your chocolate sugar cookies & brown sugar cookies for the holidays.

    1. I add some cookie cutters to the Christmas tree. Is that weird? I hope to someday have a small “baking Christmas tree” where it’s full of all my cupcake and baking ornaments!

      I don’t think anything beats oatmeal butterscotch cookies by the way… YUM.

      1. Sally: That is so funny–great minds think alike! I do have a small “baking” tree in my kitchen. I decorate it with antique aluminum cookie cutters (with the red handles) small red beaded garland, and peppermint sticks & peppermint candy ornaments. It is one of those white trees, so the red really pops. I love it! With that gorgeous new kitchen of yours, I bet you could find a sweet spot for that tree!! (no pun intended!!)

  9. Wow Sally this is so exciting!!! Over the summer I made your magic 5 cookies at least four times (in like one month) because they were such a hit! This recipe just moved to the top of my baking list, they look and sound amazing… I can not wait!

  10. These look amazing, I can’t wait to try them! Any oatmeal-based cookies are my favorite because of their chewiness and the toastiness of the oats, plus I love cranberries, especially around the holidays!

  11. I have made several batches of the cookies you posted several months ago and can attest that they are unbelievable. I wouldn’t have thought about switching out the mix ins to make them more festive. Hmmm….so many ideas now!

  12. I’m going to have to tell my mom to replace her usual (plain/boring) oatmeal cookies with these. I’m sure they’ll disappear much faster than the plain kind 🙂

  13. Sally, it looks like the note for the 1\2c. each white chocolate, etc. is missing below the recipe!! Just wanted to let you know!! Love every cookie in your cookie palooza. This is truly the most wonderful time of the year!¡!!

    1. Whoops! Thanks for catching that. That’s what I get for typing up this recipe at 11:30pm! There’s no special note to go with it, actually 🙂

  14. Ah, now I have an issue – can one have more than 1 type of cookie with cranberries and white chocolate in them on their cookie tray? 😉 It’s just such a delicious combination that I use very often in my baking.
    These sound so great!
    But, please, Sally, let us know your secret for the white chocolate chips! How do you prevent them from loosing their shape and changing colour? Mine always change a bit during baking and yours look so appetizing! Curious greetings! Sina

    1. Really? Do yours brown a little? The ones you see on top of these cookies were placed AFTER the oven. I do that for looks 🙂 We eat with our eyes, right?!

      1. We do! And it works – I love the look of this white dots 🙂
        Mine don’t really brown though, they just change a bit during baking – and they are more incorporated into the cookie, coated in the batter etc. I’m thinking about placing some on top of each cookie as a final step before they go into the oven. That could work, right?

      2. I made them yesterday with my kid and they were as easy and fun to make as they were delicious! We love them 🙂
        Thank you for another wonderful cookie recipe, Sally!

  15. Molasses in oatmeal cookies!  Who knew!  What a great idea for both the flavor and texture:)  I am a chewy cookie person all the way, so love seeing lots of brown sugar in these!  They look deee-lish and festive with the red and white! 

  16. I have been enjoying a similar recipe like this for years!  But I use almond extract and vanilla! So delicious. I cannot wait to bake these.

  17. Oh. Yeah. That’s all I have to say! And ladies, I have a small tree in my kitchen with only kitchen theme ornaments and a cookie cutter or two. It makes me happy while I’m doing my Christmas baking!

  18. I made these this afternoon with my 3 year old and they were just the right recipe to follow with a short attention span helper. She spent most of the time asking when we would add the chocolate chips, mostly because she just wanted to eat some! But they really are a delicious cookie with so many interesting textures and a fabulous “chew.” Even my sugar-cookie addicted husband loved them and he usually doesn’t care for this kind of cookie as much. I left out the coconut because I didn’t have any and we didn’t miss it. Thanks for another great recipe! 

    1. Thank you for taking the time to report back about the oatmeal cookies, Danielle! So happy to hear your family enjoyed them.

  19. Years ago someone had brought cookies to a pot luck. When you ate it you tasted a little bit of oatmeal cookie peanut butter cookie and choclate chip cookie dough. Could you try something like this? I don’t even know where to begin to attempt it. They cookies where soft and chewy

  20. Made these this weekend for a party – semi sweet chocolate chips instead of coconut though since that’s what was in my pantry – everyone LOVED them! I wish there had been leftovers…guess I’ll just have to make another batch! 🙂

  21. I just made this dough last night. I don’t know that it’s going to live to see cookie form…the dough is SOOOO ridiculously good!!!

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally