CHERRY OATMEAL COOKIES
Art and Soul of Baking
by Sur La Table and Cindy Mushet
This variation on the classic oatmeal cookie is crisp at the edges, soft in the center, and plump with dried sour cherries. The tart cherries are the ideal contrast to the sweetly comforting dough, but you can substitute raisins, dried cranberries, or any other moist dried fruit you like.
Makes about 50 Cookies
Two or Three Baking Sheets, Stand Mixer Fitted with a Paddle Attachment or a Hand Mixer and a Medium Bowl, Silicone or Rubber Spatula, Medium Bowl, Whisk, Small Ice Cream Scoop, Parchment Paper, Cooling Rack
• 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened (65° to 68°F)
• 1/2 cup (4 ounces) firmly packed light brown sugar
• 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (2 ounces) granulated sugar
• 1 large egg
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 cup (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 cup (3¼ ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats
• 3/4 cup (3½ ounces) dried sour cherries
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Place the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer and beat on medium speed until smooth and blended, about 2 minutes. You can also use a hand mixer and a medium bowl, although you may need to beat the mixture a little longer to achieve the same results. Scrape down the bowl with the spatula. Add the egg and vanilla and blend well.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to the butter mixture all at once. Turn the mixer to the lowest speed and blend slowly. just until there are no more patches of flour. Scrape down the bowl.
4. Add the oats and cherries and blend on low just until combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir gently a few times with the spatula to make sure there are no more patches of unincorporated flour or butter lurking near the bottom of the bowl.
5. Using the small ice cream scoop or a spoon, portion tablespoon-size mounds onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time, rotating the sheet halfway through, for 13 to 16 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown at the edges and still a bit pale in the center. Transfer to a cooling rack and let the cookies cool completely.
Storing: Keep the cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.
Getting Ahead: You can make the dough up to 3 days ahead and refrigerate it in an airtight container. For nearly-spur- of-the-moment cookies, portion the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, putting the scoops right next to each other to fit all of them on one sheet. Place in the freezer for 30 to 60 minutes, until the balls of dough are frozen. Transfer the cookie dough balls to a resealable plastic freezer bag and freeze until needed, up to 3 months. To bake, take out as many cookies as you need, space them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake as directed, adding a couple of minutes to the baking time.
Cherry-Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies:
Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup chocolate chips (or your favorite eating chocolate cut into 1/4-inch chunks) to the dough with the oatmeal and dried cherries. Milk chocolate or white chocolate chips may be substituted for dark chocolate if you like, or use a combination of all three. Bake as directed above.