Last month, John and I went on our first obligatory parental trip– a visit to the pumpkin patch. Ok, I can’t quite claim that it was solely for the benefit of the baby given that she’s still too little to enjoy the children’s activities and spent most of the time asleep in the baby carrier. Besides, we had fun hanging out with friends and their toddlers, not to mention the freshly fried ginger cardamom donuts and warm apple cider made the trip worth it on their own.
We wimped out of trudging through the mud puddle minefield to choose pumpkins from the actual patch and opted to get our jack o’ lantern pumpkins from the clean and tidy, pre-harvested pumpkin section next to the little shop that sells apple butter and puffed corn nuggets. Then we headed into town and had lunch at a bakery with our friends and their 2-year-old daughter. The bakery was cozy on such a grey, cold, autumn day, the sandwiches were delicious, and I behaved myself by refraining from buying the large chocolate chip, cherry oatmeal cookies that were otherwise calling my name.
John and I took a walk around town before heading back home, visiting antique shops where I flipped through vintage posters with the hopes of finding something to decorate my office at work as a means of distracting me from going back and buying those cookies. It worked to a degree, and we made our way back home where I continued to fantasize about chocolate chip, cherry oatmeal cookies until finally, I made a batch of my own.
My goal was to elevate your typical oatmeal, chocolate chip raisin cookie by adding chopped, buttery, toasted pecans, and tart dried cherries. I envisioned a cookie with crispy edges and chewy centers, but instead, I ended up with soft nuggets chocked full of cherries, pecans, and bittersweet chocolate. Not what I had pictured, but still decidedly delicious and definitely worth jotting down so I can make them again. These cookies scream fall to me, so if they’re calling your name, don’t resist it and feel free to make them!
- 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, room temperature
- 1 cup packed, light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1.25 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 cup dried cherries, chopped
- 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped pecan halves, toasted
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a standing mixer bowl, beat together butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla and almond extracts. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, oatmeal, and spices. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture by adding 1/3 of the dry mixture at a time, beating until combined before adding next portion. Mix in the cherries, chocolate chips, and pecan pieces. Using a standard 2 teaspoon cookie measure, scoop out mounds of dough and quickly roll into a uniform ball before setting down on the baking sheet, about 1 to 2 inches apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until brown at edges. Let cookies rest on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
Makes 30 cookies.