Monday, April 6, 2015

Cherry & Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Oh hi friends! It has been wayyy too long since I have had the chance to get on the computer and visit with you.  Life just gets crazy sometimes, ya know?  I hope that things in your corner of the world have been treating you well.  We have had one hectic/sick/exhausting/long winter in our house but signs of spring are finally starting to arrive and I couldn't be any happier about that!

I recently discovered that I love dried cherries - like I am talking obsessed, in love with these cherries. I know that sounds silly but I could eat these things all day long and still want more. They are both sweet and tart and have a really great chewy texture, just like raisins.  I decided to try them in these fabulous oatmeal cookies with some chocolate chunks to see if I could get a chocolate covered cherry cookie thing happening.  They didn't turn out quite like I expected, but they were still definitely delicious!  I think the cherries lost a little bit of their zing in the baking process but they do have nice cherry flavor and help make these oatmeal cookies even chewier.

If you bake the cookies just right, the edges get a lovely light golden brown with a perfect chewy middle.  The chocolate and cherries together are a beautiful combination especially with the hint of cinnamon.  You could try this same cookie recipe with any other dried fruit that you like.  I was thinking about trying dried strawberries next time.  Speaking of next time - I really hope to get back in the swing of blogging again.  I have one other recipe ready to write about and as soon as tax season is over, I hope that I will be spending a lot more time in the kitchen!  See you soon :)

Cherry & Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup softened butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup chocolate chips or chunks

In a large bowl, use a electric hand mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment to cream the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add in the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla extract.  Mix until well combined.  Beat in the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Use a spatula to fold in the oats and then the dried cherries and chocolate chips. Optional: Chill the dough for 1 hour.  Scoop into approximately 2" dough balls and place 2" apart on parchment or silicone mat lined baking trays.  Bake the cookies at 350°F for 10-12 minutes. The edges should be slightly golden brown and the middle should still look soft. Remove the cookies from the oven, let them rest on the tray for 3-5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in an air tight container for up to 5 days.