Chocolate-Chunk Oatmeal Cookies w/ Pecans and Dried Cherries

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Chocolate-Chunk Oatmeal Cookies w/ Pecans and Dried Cherries

The sweetness of the chocolate blends with earthy pecans and sour cherries to create a delightful taste combination. Best enjoyed on the couch with a cold glass of milk and your favorite movie on TV.

Makes sixteen 4-inch cookies

We like these cookies made with pecans and dried sour cherries, but walnuts or skinned hazelnuts can be substituted for the pecans, and dried cranberries for the cherries. Quick oats used in place of the old-fashioned oats will yield a cookie with slightly less chewiness. If your baking sheets are smaller than the ones described in the recipe, bake the cookies in three batches instead of two. These cookies keep for 4 to 5 days stored in an airtight container or zipper-lock plastic bag, but they will lose their crisp exterior and become uniformly chewy after a day or so. To recrisp the cookies, place them on a baking sheet into a 425-degree oven for 4 or 5 minutes. Make sure to let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing them, and eat them while they’re warm.

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups (61/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1 cup dried sour cherries, chopped coarse
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chunks about the size of chocolate chips (about 3/4 cup)
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) packed brown sugar,
preferably dark 1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions; heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large (18 by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a second medium bowl, stir together the oats, pecans, cherries, and chocolate.

3. In a standing mixer, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until no sugar lumps remain, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula; add the egg and vanilla and beat on medium-low speed until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the bowl; with the mixer running at low speed, add the flour mixture; mix until just combined, about 30 seconds. With the mixer still running on low, gradually add the oat-nut mixture; mix until just incorporated. Give the dough a final stir with the rubber spatula to ensure that no flour pockets remain and the ingredients are evenly distributed.

4. Divide the dough evenly into 16 portions, each about 1/4 cup, then roll between your palms into balls about 2 inches in diameter; stagger 8 balls on each baking sheet, spacing them about 2 1/2 inches apart. Using your hands, gently press each dough ball to 1-inch thickness. Bake the cookies 12 minutes, rotate the sheets front to back and top to bottom, and then continue to bake until the cookies are medium brown and the edges have begun to set but the centers are still soft (the cookies will seem underdone and will appear raw, wet, and shiny in the cracks), 8 to 10 minutes longer. Do not overbake.

5. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets on a wire rack 5 minutes; using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cookies to the wire rack and cool to room temperature.