Oatmeal Cherry Cookies w/ Chocolate Chips + Walnuts

I made these cookies for my mom.

Well, I made the recipe for my mom so she’d have something to bake for my aunt’s annual holiday cookie party. In her usual fashion, my mom doesn’t want to bake anything.

To quote her, “I hate-dat-dang-baking…”(to get the full effect, say it in one word, in your head like a scolding-Korean-mother would).

What she really wants is to bribe one of her baking-friendly pals into make something totally cute and delish for her… except, according to my aunt, that is cheating. And, my aunt is totally right! You cannot show up to a cookie party with another persons baked goods–it’s a tragic holiday charade. I told mom to suck it up and get to baking! Usually moms dole out the tough love, but sometimes adult-daughters have to step it up.

So, after figuring out what my moms dream cookie would be–something chewy and oat-y, with mix-ins, and the possibility of sandwiching some cream cheese frosting between two–I came up with these lightly spiced, chewy oatmeal cookies full of dried fruit, nuts, and chocolate. It also had to come together quickly and with the least amount of fuss possible–since my mother thinks  the no-bake, rice krispy treat is fussy and somehow a baked good. While mom will most certainly switch out the chocolate chips for white chocolate (excuse me while I weep, I have a white-chocolate bias), and the dried cherries may become cranberries, these cookies are everything she asked for–chew, chunky texture, endless mix-in possibilities, sandwich capability, easy assembly…the works.

These cookies have molasses and thick oats, for lots of rich and chewy goodness. The dried cherries are tart and deep, the walnuts are toasty, and the chocolate does it’s chocolate thing. These are a great cookie-jar cookie. They are not too sweet and would totally welcome a slick of tart-creamy frosting to make the best holiday cookie sandwich. Like those oatmeal cream pies in the cellophane but, well, better.

Oatmeal Cherry Cookies

These don’t have to be cherry-walnut-chocolate cookies, you can use whatever nutty, dried fruit, chocolate-y mix-ins you’d like. I made small cookies, about the size of a silver dollar–but you could make these larger, just bake a few minutes longer. I used my favorite Extra-Thick Rolled Oats, but regular Quaker rolled oats will work just as well. 

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup rolled oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 stick (4 ounces) butter, softened

1 cup sugar

3 Tablespoons molasses

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup each dried cherries, walnut pieces, chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350*F. Line two baking sheets with parchment, set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, beat butter until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and molasses, beat well until combined, scraping bowl as needed. Add the egg and vanilla, mix to combine well.

Scrape bowl and add the dry ingredients, pulsing mixer until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated. Mix in the dried fruit, nuts, and chocolate. Scoop cookies in desired amount (I used a mini disher for these) and place on a baking sheet spaced about 1-2 inches apart (1 for smaller cookies, 2 for larger) and bake 1 sheet at a time in the center of the oven for 11-13 minutes–possibly more for larger cookies–until the bottoms are golden brown and cookies are just done in the center. Over-baking will make for a less chewy cookie. Cool on sheet pan about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Repeat process with remaining dough. Can be kept in a cookie jar or other container at room temperature for 3-4 days.


Chewy Chocolate Ginger-Spice Cookies

Sometimes a night in with friends is what you need. Ideally, these sorts of gatherings should involve a plethora of mini sandwiches and spiked libations…maybe even a little illicit cross-stich art for good measure. Hopefully, a kitchen dance party will erupt, followed by girl-talk, then more dancing. Sometimes that is exactly what you need to remind you that good times are to be had…even if you go to bed with the threat of a headache and need an evening nap the next day, it’s still a breath of fresh air and totally worth it.

Sometimes you just need all of that, but, sometimes in a pinch a cookie will do.

These cookies are an ultra-spiced, chewy, chocolate delight. Cocoa and shards of chocolate add depth and smooth richness. A gang of spices, plus candied ginger, add heat and excitement. Sparkly and fragrant cinnamon sugar bring crunch and texture to the party. These sweetly-spiced cookies are similar to one of my favorites, but with an added layer of depth from the cocoa. The combination of spices in this cookie is pretty bold and literally spicy–these are not for the shy, but perfect for the adventurous and brave.

Chewy Chocolate Ginger-Spice Cookies

Makes 24-30 cookies.

Adapted from Martha Stewart

The dough for these chewy gems has to be chilled before baking and I would suggest placing the remaining dough in the refrigerator between batches, as well. Also, there are two forms of chocolate in this cookie, as well as three incarnations of ginger, PLUS cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and black pepper. One could dial back the spices, but I think these cookies are made different because of the boldness of the spices. As always, I encourage you to make these your own, so if super spiced baked goods aren’t your game, then definitely begin by reducing each spice by half. These cookies are great for cookie jars and will keep at room temperature for several days. 

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 Tablespoon fresh, grated ginger

1/2 cup molasses

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 Tablespoons cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground, dried ginger

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground, black pepper

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

pinch of salt (scant 1/4 teaspoon)

1/4 cup chopped, candied ginger

4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

3 Tablespoons granulated sugar + 1 teaspoon cinnamon, for rolling

In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter with the brown sugar until creamy and combined well. Add the fresh ginger, molasses, and vanilla, mix to combine. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, cocoa, ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, pepper, nutmeg, and salt.  Add the dry mixture to the butter mixture and pulse until just combined. Fold in the candied ginger and chopped chocolate. Cover and chill the dough for at least 2 hours, or until very firm.

Preheat oven to 325*F and line baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.

Scoop dough (I used a 1 1/2 inch disher/levered scoop) into rounds and roll into a ball. Roll each ball in cinnamon sugar and place on baking sheets spaced about 1-2 inches apart–as the cookies will spread. Working with 1 sheet at a time, flatten the top of each cookie and chill for 10 minutes before baking in the center of the oven for 15-18 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the sheet pan about 10 minutes before placing on a cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.



Recipe: Chewy Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies

As we now know, it’s fall and I love it. I know, I just waxed poetic about this, but I mean, how could I not? It’s sweater weather, the beginning of the holiday season, and it just begs for me to bake.

I can turn my oven on all day and not even care.

Apple and pumpkin are sure to make repeat appearances.

Caramel and chocolate have never been more appropriate.

Ginger and cinnamon and spice, all definitely some of my favorite flavors, will become staples through the fall and deep into winter.

The trouble with this oh-so-perfect baking season is that it can be hard to decide what to bake next…so many baked goods, so little time, right?

I mean, what’s a girl to do when she can’t decide between what kind of cookie to bake?

Chewy ginger or chocolate chip?

These are life altering decisions here.

It’s serious business.

So, I just decided to throw some chips into my favorite ginger cookie and balance was restored.

It really was a close call.

A good call at that, ’cause who knew how good chocolate paired with molasses laden, spicy goodness would be!?

I never knew, but now, I totally do.

Thank goodness.

Chewy Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies

I used this recipe that I posted on my blog a zillion years ago (circa 2008), which was originally adapted from Joy the Baker. These cookies are darned good and are totally perfect for making friends. I tweaked a few things this time around and added a hefty dose of chocolate chips. This time I rolled the cookies in some Swedish Pearl Sugar that’s been languishing in the back of my pantry for days. Dayz ya’llz. Fancy sugar is so not necessary…turbinado, raw sugar, sanding sugar, or plain ol’ granulated will work just as well. You could even skip out on the whole rolling business, but I wouldn’t. It gives the cookies a crunchy crust that contrasts beautifully with the chewy cookie.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon dried ginger

1/2 teaspoon fresh, grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon allspice

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon fresh, grated ginger root

1 large egg, room temperature

1/4 cup molasses

1 teaspoon vanilla

As many chocolate chips as you’d like. I’d start with at least 1 cup.

Sugar of your choice, for rolling.

Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper, set aside.

In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking soda, dry spices, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer beat butter, oil, brown sugar, and fresh ginger together until smooth and creamy. Scrape down sides of the bowl and add egg, beating well to combine. Scrape down sides of the bowl again and beat in molasses and vanilla to combine. Add in dry ingredients all at once and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. The dough will be quite soft and sticky. Chill dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Using a cookie scoop or 2 tablespoons, scoop chilled dough into rounds and roll in your palms to create a ball. Roll each ball in sugar and place on prepared baking sheet and flatten slightly, leaving at least 1-inch between rounds as these cookies will spread. Bake cookies on the middle rack for 11-13 minutes. Place unbaked cookies/dough in the refrigerator between batches. Cool baked cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.