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 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.