Spoiler alert: Gourmandistan doesn’t actually believe Santa exists. This year, we’ve not even pretended to be into Christmas. There’s not a single holiday decoration out in our house. And, there has been very, very little holiday baking. But if the jolly old elf with his judgmental list was real, this oatmeal cookie would guarantee some extra presents.
Based on a 1980s Lee Bailey recipe, these cookies delightfully straddle the line between chewy and crispy, and come out of the oven with a lovely caramelized finish. This once was Michelle’s mom’s favorite cookie recipe. Before she tired of them, Jean adapted the original by adding nuts and replacing raisins with dried cherries, which make a world of difference. The sour-sweet tang and slightly tougher texture of the fruit enhances the sticky-crunchy texture, and the color of the cherries makes the cookie much more attractive.
We don’t see Santa in our future (though if someone wants to drop down our chimney with presents, we’ll be very appreciative). But we do see more of these cookies. Happy holidays, everybody!
DRIED CHERRY OATMEAL COOKIES
(adapted from Lee Bailey’s Country Desserts)
- 1-1/2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 t. baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 1 t. ground cinnamon
- 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1/2 c. dark brown sugar
- 1 c. granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 c. dried sour cherries
- 1/2 heaping c. toasted walnuts, chopped small
Sift the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugars together until fluffy. Mix in beaten egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture. Then, mix in oats, cherries and walnuts.
Refrigerate, covered, for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a cookie sheet with butter.
Place tablespoon-sized balls of dough on prepared baking sheet. Flatten the balls with your fingers.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until set. Remove from sheet and cool on a wire rack.
Alternatively, you can form the dough into logs and refrigerate or freeze, slicing off cookies and baking as needed.