Frugal Foodie Mama: Oatmeal Raisin & Dried Berries Cookies

Friday, March 24, 2023

Oatmeal Raisin & Dried Berries Cookies

 These perfectly chewy and soft Oatmeal Raisin & Dried Berries Cookies are packed with sweet golden raisins, dried mixed berries, and crunchy walnuts... Add a cold glass of milk, and you are set!

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I will be the first to admit that, in general, I am not a big fan of raisins in my baked goods. I also get kind of salty when a trail mix includes regular raisins, and then they happen to make up at least half of the actual mix. 

The one exception to my "no raisins in baked goods" rule is a homemade, fresh-from-the-oven oatmeal raisin cookie. But even then I am only tolerating the raisins in the cookies just because I really like the rest of the what is going on with a good oatmeal cookie.

But a couple of months ago, I bit into one Panera's Oatmeal Raisin with Berries cookies for the first time and let me just say, you all.... mind blown! They could have literally left the raisins out and just had the dried berries in that cookie, and I would have been in absolute heaven.

But that got me thinking... why not just bake up my own version at home and leave out those raisins altogether? 

But that isn't exactly what I did. 

Instead of just omitting the raisins completely, I decided to swap them out for golden raisins. For whatever reason, I do love the golden ones. They just always seem to be plumper and sweeter, and just less dried out than regular dark raisins- you know?

I picked up a dried berries blend at my local Aldi to create my take on this Panera favorite. The blend I used in this recipe includes dried blueberries, cranberries, and cherries. 

The base for this cookie recipe is more or less your standard oatmeal cookie dough. I do like to use butter flavored shortening (aka, Butter Crisco) in my baked goodies whenever I can. I love the combination of the texture that the shortening gives the cookies with a hint of buttery flavor. 

One easy tip that I always like to share with my readers is to reserve a few dried berries, raisins, and walnuts to press on top before popping your cookie dough balls into the oven to bake. This will give them that gram-worthy finishing touch. 

I mean, who doesn't want to share the pretty cookies they just baked up to their social media? ;)

A few tips & tricks for making this recipe:

  • If you don't like raisins at all- even the golden ones- you can certainly leave them out altogether. Just add in an extra 1/3 cup of the dried berries instead.
  • Not a fan of walnuts? Chopped pecans or even almonds would also work really well in these cookies.
  • No butter flavor shortening on hand? Try 3 tablespoons of room temperature unsalted butter with 3 tablespoons of regular shortening instead.