Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate, Cherries and Pecans

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We had another ice event around here, and when my man came home early from work yesterday, I celebrated by baking him some cookies.  I really am his co-dependent enabler.  So yep, I got out the ol’ 1950 Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book.  Their “Oatmeal Drop Cookies” recipe looked like a good jumping off point, but of course I made a few changes:  I used half butter/half shortening, cut the cinnamon amount in half (partly because I’m not a massive fan of cinnamon and partly because the King Arthur Vietnamese Cinnamon that I use is hecka strong!), subbed dried cherries for the raisins, and added a tsp. of vanilla and a cup of Ghiradelli Milk Chocolate chips.  I made one other change which requires a bit of explaining.  The original recipe called for 1 ¼ cups white sugar and 6 Tbsp. molasses.  I’m sure you know that the brown sugar we buy at the supermarket is made by combining white sugar with molasses.  When I found that out last year I thought “hey, why buy brown sugar when I can make my own in the food processor?”.  What a sticky pain in the butt – just buy brown sugar!  Anyway, rather than create sticky molasses drama, I just used 1 ½ cups brown sugar.

These cookies were AWESOME!  Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and the combo of dried cherries, pecans and good milk chocolate – mmmmmm!  It’s hard to say which was more delicious – spoonfuls of the sweet, chunky dough or the baked cookies!

That dough is just begging to be eaten with a spoon!
That dough is just begging to be eaten with a spoon!

Here’s the recipe

  • ¼ cup shortening
  • ¼ cup butter, room temp
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon (optional – I wouldn’t use it next time, but I don’t love cinammon)
  • 2 cups rolled oats (Old Fashioned, NOT Quick Cook)
  • 1 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup Ghiradelli or Guittard Milk Chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400.  Cream shortening, butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Whisk together flour, soda, salt and cinnamon and add to creamed mixture until just combined.  Add oats, cherries, nuts and chocolate chips and stir to combine (don’t overbeat).  Using a #40 disher (or two spoons) portion dough onto silpat- or parchment-lined cookie sheets.

A disher really is the easiest way to portion cookie dough. You are looking for roughly golfball-sized "blobs"
A disher is the easiest way to portion cookie dough. You are looking for golfball-sized “blobs”

This is kind of a stiff dough, and the extra add-ins make it hard for the dough to properly spread while baking.  You have to help things along by pressing the dough balls to slightly flatten them.

Press the dough blobs down to slightly flatten them so they will bake evenly
Press the dough balls down so they will bake evenly.

Bake for 8 minutes, rotating sheet front to back halfway through, or until cookies are lightly browned.  Cool on sheets a minute or two and remove to wire racks to cool completely.  Makes about 3 dozen, depending on  how much dough you eat.  ; )  Enjoy!

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