Oatmeal Cherry Cookies w/ Chocolate Chips + Walnuts

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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.

 

Recipe: Chewy Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies

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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.