Oatmeal cookies are something I don’t get to enjoy much in the outside world. Despite being one of my favorite types of cookie, I can never ever ever eat them (unless I make them myself). “Why,” you ask? Even though they are always filled with sweet brown-sugary goodness and a texture exclusive to oatmeal cookies alone, the ones you see gracing your grocery and bakery shelves all have one major flaw: RAISINS.
I don’t know who made the executive decision that raisins and oatmeal cookies were eternally bound, but if I found them I would kick them in the shin. Hard. It’s not that I hate raisins, I can stomach them on their own from time to time, but LEAVE THEM OUT OF MY BAKED GOODS. I always made my oatmeal cookies plain (with the recipe right on the Quaker Oats container), maybe with some chocolate chips or peanut butter mixed in, if I felt so inclined. I thought this was just a general rule, that all dried fruits were banned from all of my baked goods until the end of time.
Turns out, that’s not true. After adding dried cherries to an orzo salad, there were a good amount of leftover cherries hanging out in my pantry. So I scoured the earth for a cherry recipe, I was thinking biscotti at first, but upon leafing through one of my favorite cookbooks, I came across this masterpiece. These cookies combine the sweet brown sugar flavor of oatmeal cookies with the tartness of dried cherries. Of course, I couldn’t resist adding chocolate chips.
They are best when eaten still warm – ensuring a perfectly crisped exterior and chewy interior. Once cooled, by day 2 or 3 they become much more crunchy. If you want them to be soft and chewy, I have a little trick for you- stick a piece of white bread in the container with them. They’ll absorb the moisture from the bread and become nice and chewy. If you like crunchy cookies, you’ll be just fine leaving them as-is.
Cherry Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies – Adapted from Art & Soul of Baking
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 C firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 C + 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 C AP flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 C old-fashioned rolled oats
- 3/4 C dried sour cherries (I chopped mine)
- 1/2 C chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line the baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. (If you have a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment) Scrape down the bowl with a spatula, and add the egg and vanilla, blend well.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture all at once. Turn the mixer to the lowest speed and blend slowly, just until combined. Scrape bowl with spatula, making sure to scrape up from the bottom to make sure there’s no flour hiding down there.
Add the oats, cherries, and chocolate chips. Blend on low a few turns of the bowl, just until combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir a few times with the spatula to catch any last bits of flour.
Portion tablespoon-size mounds onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time on the middle rack for 13 to 16 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown at the edges and still a bit pale in the center. Transfer to a cooling rack to let cool.