Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cherry Cookies

IMG_0972Once when trying to describe his favorite cookies, my youngest son dubbed these tasty morsels “The Good Cookies”—so now that’s the official title of this recipe at our house. Dried cherries are great because they add a tartness that’s a nice compliment to the sweet chocolate. But they are a tad expensive, so I often substitute craisins for the dried cherries. No one complains. The addition of a cup and a half of oatmeal adds some substance, while not turning them into straight-up oatmeal cookies. Another tip? If you toast—and cool (so they don’t melt the butter)—the pecans before stirring in, it takes these up another notch.

What got me searching for this recipe was a cookie Taste of Scandinavia bakery used to make called the Rocky Road. It was chock full of nuts and dried fruits and chocolate chunks. My son Mitch and I used to grab of couple from the bakery in St. Anthony while waiting for his brother Justin to be done with painting classes. When the bakery at that location changed hands and quit making our faves, we went through withdrawal. I found a white chocolate, macadamia nut, and cherry cookie recipe on that sounded close to what we craved, so I subbed in semi-sweet chocolate and pecans, and a star was born. (That recipe is no longer posted, or I would credit the author!)

Makes 2 ½ dozen cookies

1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cup rolled oats
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup dried cherries or craisins (dried cranberries)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In large mixer bowl, cream butter with beater attachment on electric mixer. Slowly add dark brown sugar, then white sugar, and cream ingredients until fluffy. Add eggs and cream ingredients. Add vanilla and cream ingredients again.

In a separate medium-sized bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt with a spoon. Slowly add this flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar mixture until all ingredients are combined. Slowly add rolled oats and stir on low to combine. Remove bowl from mixer, and stir in chocolate chips, nuts, and dried cherries or craisins with a wooden spoon.

Drop by large spoonfuls on to baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cookies cool for 10 minutes before removing from baking sheet. Store cookies in an airtight container.