My Mom has been baking oatmeal cookies for as long as I can remember. Sometimes they were a gift to sick friends, or a little cheer to her co-workers, or a “just because” dessert for her family. I loved coming home from school, opening the front door and smelling my Mom’s oatmeal cookies baking in the oven. That was a happy day.
Sometimes these cookies would take on a life of their own; mixed with a little Raisin Bran cereal because my Mom had run out of oatmeal. And, sometimes I’d find them mixed with an assortment of dried fruit because she ran low on raisins. But never did we run out of chocolate! I think my Mom even threw in some peanut butter once. We often called them Mom’s surprise oatmeal cookies. Whatever Mom might have decided to include in her oatmeal cookies, they were always deliciously crisp on the edges and moist and chewy in the center.
So, in a very consistent Sharon (my Mom) fashion, I found myself one day without a box of raisins. What’s a Chef to do? Improvise just like my Mom. I dug around my pantry for a few minutes and came out with a bag of sour cherries. A new version of my Mom’s Oatmeal cookies was born! Tart cherries blended with rich chocolate chips in an oatmeal cookie. Yum!
Enjoy the recipe and feel free to create your own special oatmeal cookie!
Makes 24-28 large Cookies
1 Cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 Cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups uncooked oats (I prefer quick cook oats)
1 cup dried cherries
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup toasted chopped pecans or walnuts (optional) (if using nuts, reduce chocolate chips to 1 cup)
Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugars until light and creamy. Next, add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the flour mixture to the butter and mix well. Mix in the oats, cherries and chocolate chips until thoroughly combined.
Line a baking sheet with parchment. Using a medium ice cream scoop, drop cookies onto the baking sheet two inches apart. Bake 12-15 minutes or until the cookies are a golden brown. Cool for one minute on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack. Store tightly covered.