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I mean, whenever do the merits of chocolate really need an explanation? Exactly….never.
These amped up Cherry Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal cookies are consistently scrumptious winners in my big tome of cookie recipes. There are versions of this recipe that have been kicking around the internet for years, but almost all call for raisins, craisins, or dates. I’m not a huge fan of raisins or too many other dried fruits. Oddly enough, I can eat dried tart cherries by the handful, so despite this recipe calling for a cup, I generally dump in the entire bag, about 2 cups. Now, tart dried cherries combined with melty chocolate are a sin on some level, somewhere, but not here, and not today in these cookies. I mean, whenever do the merits of chocolate really need an explanation? Exactly….never. And I love the chewiness that the oats contribute to this delicious indulgence.
Pecans added to the ingredients have also proved downright delectable in these chocolaty sweet, semi tart Cherry Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies. With everything going on, it’s hard to eat just one.
I bake up batches of my favorite chocolate chip cookies all of the time. Most recently though, and in sharp contrast to the usual ‘may I have another?’ I was confronted with a request to add fruit to my chocolate chip cookies. And just like that, my whisk was sent spinning. Fruit? In a chocolate chip cookie….in MY chocolate chip cookies??? Ahhh, that would be a ‘nope.’ But as frenzied as the request made me, I knew there was some big, big truth about combining fruit and chocolate if I was being honest. But in my cookies??
Ambling down isle four of the grocery to make my raisin selection, I was confronted with what can only be described as a wall of dried fruit, a seemingly specialized sector of the fruit market. Who knew?
The thought of blasé conventional raisins hogging up real estate in my cookies was unfortunate. However, I strode off to the grocery to follow through with my promise to my friend, as this was her birthday request. How do you say no to somebody who loves your sweets enough to ask for them for her birthday? Ambling down isle four to make my raisin selection, I was confronted with what can only be described as a wall of dried fruit. It hit me then, that it didn’t need to be raisins. She requested fruit. So, that could mean apricots, dates, cranberries or any of the many bags of dried produce fruit I was looking at. But one bag stood out, and I grabbed it. Apple juice-infused dried tart cherries. Not a raisin, and hey I like cherries, so I gave them a try.
As a measure of forewarning, Cherry Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal cookies are wildly addictive.
After several modifications of the sugar to the oats and the oats to the fruit and chocolate, I had them, Cherry Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal cookies. Now, as a measure of forewarning, these are addicting, and I have been permanently obsessed with them ever since my friend’s party where these debuted. This recipe makes 36 larger cookies or 48 smaller cookies depending on the size of your drops. I go for the 36 and always bake for exactly 12 minutes because while I enjoy the chewy centers, I love a crunchy outside.
Ingredients for Cherry Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup dried cherries (I do not chop, rather mix in whole and almost always end up using the entire bag which is about 2 cups)
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chunks
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment.
Using an electric mixer, combine the butter and brown sugar together until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, combining well after each addition. Add the vanilla. Mixture should be light and almost fluffy.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. One level cup at a time, gradually add to the butter mixture, mixing just until combined. Do not overmix. Stir in the oats, cherries, and chocolate.
Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the bottom edges as well as the tops are lightly browned. Cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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