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Dharma Kitchen


Propaganda Cookies, or, Three Cheers for the Red, White and Blue

Carrie H

I've revisited this recipe, which was born about four years ago when I received an email from my father-in-law with the subject line: "Cookie idea." 

The man knows how to get my attention, even if I'm reading email while swatting children off my leg.

So, he begins to tell me, succinctly and quickly, that he had this amazing cookie at Russo's, which in addition to its farm-fresh produce and flowers and such, has been running a baking operation for as long as I can remember. (We used to get the apple cider doughnuts as kids.) He says me it's a red, white, and blue cookie and I almost rolled my eyes, except he said it was delicious.

I wrote back and said, "That sounds like cookie propaganda!" But I was curious, you see. My in-laws live two hours away and don't buy their own cookies because, as my mother-in-law has told me, I've "spoiled" them for store-bought cookies, both the supermarket-bakery-kind and the chemical-laden, metallic-tasting, packaged kind. I then quizzed them on the taste and texture: dried cranberries AND dried blueberries or were the blueberries fresh? Was it soft? Chewy? Hard? Crispy? Sweet?  I thought chopped white chocolate would go better than chips; it needed a contrast. Chewy but not too soft: that's what they said.


I've modified this yet again, by reducing the sugar and using dried cherries instead of dried cranberries. I like the way the cherries play off the blueberries, white chocolate and lemon. Plus, y'know, George Washington and all that. 

Propaganda Cookies, a.k.a. Red, White and Blue Cookies


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup oats (regular, old-fashioned)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon extract (or a squeeze of the lemon you zested)
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup dried blueberries


Preheat the oven to 375°.

In a small bowl, stir together the flour, oats, baking soda and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, briefly mix the sugars and the zest until combined. Add butter and cream together until light and fluffy. Add large egg and egg white, along with the vanilla and lemon extracts (or juice), and mix until combined. Stir in the dried fruits and the chopped white chocolate. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour; longer if it's hot in your kitchen. 

Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop the cookies by leveled tablespoons (I used one of my OXO cookie scoops, which I can't live without) onto the sheets and bake for about 9-10 minutes, rotating halfway through, until lightly browned around the edges. 

Yield: About 3 dozen cookies.