Salty Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Let’s see — chocolate chip cookies or oatmeal cookies? Which ones to make? Well, why not both! These have dried cranberries for tartness and a sprinkle of sea salt.

I’ve been craving oatmeal cookies BIG time and sometimes — you’ve just gotta satisfy that craving, healthy or not, am I right? These Salty Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies were inspired by a recipe from Ina Garten, a.k.a., the Barefoot Contessa. I changed it up to make the cookies a tad healthier — because I’ve discovered this lady sure loves her butter {sorry, Ina!}.

You’ll like this recipe if you want a cookie that’s not too sweet and has a smidge of tartness, thanks to the dried cranberries.

Turns out the oatmeal flavor doesn’t come through too strongly — it’s more of a chocolate chip cookie with some oatmeal for texture (and all the good nutrients of oats). So my oatmeal craving continues — but these still managed to disappear quickly in our house!

Allow time to refrigerate the dough before baking

I’m adding this right up front because it’s important. You’ll need to refrigerate the dough before baking it — a minimum of one hour or longer, if you can. Since we’re substituting applesauce for part of the butter — you’ll end up with a too-soft dough and the cookies will spread way too much when baked if the dough isn’t chilled beforehand.

You can even refrigerate the dough overnight or leave it in your fridge for several days and bake a batch whenever you’d like. Baking time is only 10 to 12 minutes.

There are more tips below for freezing and storing the dough.

Making the cookies a little healthier

I reduced the saturated fat (butter) by nearly half — substituting applesauce instead. I also cut back on the sugar by a third — which I typically do when baking.

There’s more room to play and get creative with this recipe — make it your own! You could use low-sugar chocolate chips (I like Lily’s brand) and you could also up the oatmeal-to-flour ratio. Next time I’ll definitely add walnuts.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies on plate
I got about 24 cookies from the recipe, but of course it all depends how large you make them.

Cutting costs without sacrificing taste

The original recipe called for fleur de sel, which is pricey due to the way it’s mined. Because I don’t like to spend extra on specialty ingredients that are barely noticeable, I used sea salt.

Ina also calls for 3/4 pound of good bittersweet chocolate like Lindt. I just subbed in one cup of chocolate chips.

If you make these cookies — I’d love to hear your suggestions for both healthy options and ways to hold the cost down.

Tips for success + equipment you’ll need

There’s nothing complicated here and you probably already know this — but be sure to bring the eggs and butter to room temperature before you get started.

Here are basic equipment and supplies needed:

  • Large baking sheet(s);
  • Parchment paper to line the sheets;
  • A stand mixer is great; a hand mixer will work, too.
  • Two mixing bowls and a rubber spatula

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Salty Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Course: Dessert



Satisfy your sweet cravings without going over the top with saturated fat and sugar. The dough for these Salty Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookies needs to be made ahead, to allow time for chilling at least one hour. You can even freeze the dough. How convenient!


  • 9 tablespoons (one stick + one tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1/2 cup applesauce (I used sweetened; if you use unsweetened, consider using the higher amount of sugar below.)

  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed (I used the lesser amount)

  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar (I used the lesser amount)

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries

  • Fleur de sel or sea salt for topping


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • On low speed, add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time.
  • In a separate large bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix in the oats.
  • With the stand mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture. Don’t overbeat the batter!
  • Using the rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips and cranberries until the dough is well mixed.
  • Scoop round balls of dough on the prepared sheet. A cookie scoop or two tablespoons work well for this. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Refrigerate at least one hour or in an airtight container up to one week.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until nicely browned on edges. Note that cooking time will vary depending on how large you make the cookies. Let sit briefly and then cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!


  • Make Ahead: Scoop balls of dough into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week or freeze the dough for up to three months. Defrost before baking.
  • Source: The original recipe appears as Salty Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies in Ina Garten’s Make it Ahead cookbook (published in 2014.) I switched some ingredients to cut fat and calories and also switched the name because these cookies — although yummy — don’t really come across as oatmeal.
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I am not a licensed nutritionist, medical professional or cosmetics expert. The information provided on Honest + Simple is for general informational purposes only. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food + Drug Administration and are not intended to treat, prevent or cure any disease. Before making decisions about your health or other concerns, please consult a qualified professional and do not rely on this website for medical advice.

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