I made a cake for a party, and then felt cheated because I couldn’t have any yet. It felt so, so wroooong! What am I, six?
No, no I’m not. Six-year-olds don’t get to make themselves cookies just because… And that’s exactly what I did. I stared at my pretty cake. I wrapped it in plastic. I stowed it safely in the fridge. And then, determined to right the wrong I had done myself, I preheated that oven again, pretty much.
Amazing things happened next. Namely (entirely), amaaaaazing cookies. Seriously–I’d put these on my greatest hits CD, right next to my solo-in-the-car karaoke version of “Just a Friend.” Mmmhmm. Not embarrassing at all.
I couldn’t get oatmeal out of my head for, like, a whole week beforehand. That’s why it’s called brain food. Must be.
I made Smitten Kitchen’s chewy oatmeal raisin cookies my jumping-off point. Deb… Deb knows what’s up.
Don’t get me wrong, I like–no, love–me some raisins. But. This situation just required delightfully tart dried cherries. Cherries politely requested chocolate, as they oft do, and I had to oblige. Dark, rich, top-quality Scharffen Berger chocolate. I dunno, I just felt like living the good life.
This combination is all about sophistication. Tart, chewy, rich, dark–nestled in a chewy, comforting oatmeal pillow. It’s exactly what you want to make, even if you are listening to your inner six-year-old. Trust me (’cause I have friends, and that’s a fact, like Agnes, Agatha, Jermaine and Jack).
Tart Cherry and Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
(adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
Heaping 1/2 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chunks
Heaping 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until incorporated and smooth; add the egg and vanilla. In a smaller container, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, and stir this into the butter mixture, followed by the oats, cherries and chocolate chunks. Mix just until incorporated.
Cover the dough with plastic and chill for at least an hour… If you can stand it.
Drop dough by the spoonful (I use a smallish ice cream scoop) onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, about a couple inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until puffy in the middle and starting to look golden around the edges and bottom. Cool on a wire rack completely… Or not completely. Or something in between.
This is supposed to make 24 or so cookies–I came out with 19. Definitely NOT because I ate dough.