Valentine’s Day approaches. “Sweets to the sweet” we say, and buy Valentine’s Day candy for our children and ALL of their classmates. Valentine’s Day is a candy pot-luck in schools. The math is not hard here. If each child in the class offers every classmate a single, measly piece of candy, then my child will receive 24 pieces of candy in one sitting. Of course, nobody gets just one. And nobody eats just one. The candy feasting (gorging) begins. In rapid succession, sugary treats catapult from wrappers into stomachs. Minutes later, the teacher sends everybody home. The bus ride is long enough for the insulin to kick in. Blood sugar levels crash like airplanes. And my sweet children are…, well let’s just say, they’re not so sweet anymore.

So this year I will turn a single anomaly performed last year by a conscientious parent into a trend. Last Valentine’s Day, one of the parents from my daughter’s class attached a baggie containing two cranberry oatmeal cookies to each child’s Valentine’s Day card – instead of candy! And surprise, surprise, when my daughter returned home she talked only about these wondrous cookies. She showed me the recipe which the conscientious mother had attached to the baggie, and she urged “Make them Mom, make them! PLEASE!” Perplexed, I looked in the backpack. I was truly amazed. Most of her Valentine’s Day candy was still in her pack. “This is a good thing,” I thought. “A cranberry oatmeal cookie exists which my daughter prefers over candy?” So I baked those cranberry oatmeal cookies! They were scrumptious, and I posted the recipe on my side-page, Cooking With The ABC’s. (I’m sorry I don’t know who the mother was.)

Well this year, I too want to send healthy cookies instead of candy! But I must toe a fine line here. If I make the healthy cranberry oatmeal cookies on my side page, I will embarrass my daughter by being (in her words) “a copycat”. But if I deviate too far from cranberry oatmeal, then I will embarrass her by “being weird”, (her words again).

I needed another cranberry oatmeal cookie recipe. And I found one at Wisconsinmade.com, where I work. We distribute these incredible-tasting, Wisconsin-grown cranberries grown by the Urban family on their marshy farm in central Wisconsin. As you can imagine, a farm-woman diligently cooks, cans, dries and freezes whatever is in season on the farm. So if your family grows primarily cranberries, then a cranberry recipe you haven’t tried likely doesn’t exist. Turning lemons into lemonade, the Urban women turned their cranberry recipe collection into a cookbook. It’s called Recipes for Sweetened Dried Cranberries. Among their many cookie recipes, they have two for cranberry oatmeal. Plus, they also gave Wisconsinmade a cranberry oatmeal cookie recipe to put on our website’s recipe page. I decided to bake the one from the website. Click here for the cranberry oatmeal cookie recipe. Click on “continue reading …” for notes on how mine turned out. I baked them as a trial run for Valentine’s Day.

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