Welcome to baby countdown 2011. With two weeks left to go, I’m in full thumb-twiddling mode. If you’re a mom you probably agree that the toughest part of pregnancy is waiting for the other shoe to drop. Not only are you huge and swollen, you likely have insomnia, need to pee every 3.5 minutes, are getting the living hell kicked out of your ribs, and are sporting my favorite pregnancy accessory: cankles. Worst (and best) of all, you know that your life is going to change forever at any given moment. It’s torture and incredibly exciting at the same time.
On the bright side, my cankles and I have had lots of time to bake during all this waiting. I’ve been biding my time trying to come up with the most killer oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe, and I think I’ve done myself proud. This particular batch uses dried cherries and dark chocolate chips—a perfect combination of sweet and tart.
To make them, you’ll need the basics: butter, white and brown sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, an egg, vanilla, cinnamon & nutmeg. For the oats, I use the regular old-fashioned kind (not quick-cooking or instant). I find that they don’t melt into the dough as easily and give more texture and crunch. Dried bing cherries and dark chocolate chips round out the ingredients.
To begin, fit your stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Toss in the butter and sugars…
…and cream together.
Beat in the egg and vanilla.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add in two batches, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
Mix in the oats.
I think dried cherries are just a tad big for cookies. Not only will you get smaller bites of cherry in each cookie if you chop them a bit, but you’ll get more bang for your buck.
Just a rough chop will do.
Stir in the cherries and chocolate chips. Cover dough and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. I pretty much refrigerate any cookie dough for at least an hour before baking—it gives the butter a chance to solidify again, which will allow the cookies to bake more evenly and retain more height in the middle.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat, and roll golf ball-sized amounts of dough between your palms.
Bake for 13-14 minutes, until lightly golden but not crispy.
I love the texture of these cookies—they’re soft but with a tiny bit of crunch from the oats. The tartness of the cherries combined with the richness of the chocolate is so heavenly that it might just send me into labor. *Fingers crossed.*
I’ll be sure to keep you updated as the days go by. Expect to see a sweet newborn picture up soon!
Oatmeal Chocolate Cherry Cookies adapted from Betty Crocker
Makes approximately 30 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes plus 1 hour in refrigerator
Bake Time: 13-14 minutes per batch
- 1 c packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 c granulated sugar
- 1 c (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 c flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1 1/2 c oats (not instant or quick-cooking)
- 1 12 oz package dark or bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 c chopped dried cherries
1. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the sugars and butter. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until evenly incorporated. Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Stir the oats, chocolate chips, and cherries. Cover dough and refrigerate 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 350F. Roll golf ball-sized amounts of dough between your palms and place on a parchment or Silpat-lined baking sheet at least 2″ apart. Bake one tray at a time for 13-14 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges. Let cool on a wire rack. Any unused dough may be refrigerated for up to one week or frozen for up to one month.