Cherry Vanilla Oatmeal Cookies

The biggest compliment I've gotten on these cookies was the question, "Is it wrong to have cookies for breakfast?"

"Heck no," I replied. "Cherries are healthy. So are oats. And vanilla. The butter and sugar don't count. Especially not for breakfast."

First, gather your ingredients.

The dry stuff (lolkitten not included).

The wet stuff and add-ins.
Mix your dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Cream butter, brown sugar and honey in largish bowl until mostly free of lumps. Since there's honey, it won't be fluffy like a regular butter/sugar cream. You can use a mixer, but I use a fork because I'm hardcore. Mix in vanilla and egg.

Ickis helped.
 Add dry stuff to wet gradually. I do so in 2 additions. Toss in dried cherries and white chocolate chips (or nuts, if you're nutty). Mix until JUST blended. Overmixing will turn your cookies tough and chewy (in a bad way).
Lolkitten can not haz.

I don't measure the add-ins. I just dump until I'm satisfied.
 Chill batter in the fridge for half an hour. This step is very important. This will firm up the honey slightly so that your cookies won't flatten too badly in the oven. During this half hour, you can do Jell-o shots, Riverdance, taste the batter, resist the urge to eat the rest of the batter, fail, and preheat the oven to 350. After what's left of your batter is properly chilled, spoon onto a lightly greased cookie sheet by the teaspoon.

Don't do what I did. Use a good cookie sheet with a light grease. Not foil.
 Pop them in the oven and wait for the longest ten minutes of your life. Give them a minute or two to settle before you remove them to a wire rack to cool. I won't say not to eat them right out of the oven, because I know you'll try anyway. Don't sue me for mouth burns; that's all I ask.

Ickis you are in the way.
Batch yield: 2 dozenish. The smaller you spoon them, the more quickly they will get eaten. True story.

My cookies make lolcats forget about cheezburgers.

I'll be honest; I don't like crunchy cookies, so you won't see recipes on this blog that will yield crunchy cookies. These are soft and moist and chewy and are best stored in an airtight container to maintain that gooey softness that keeps folks rabid for these cookies. And I do mean rabid.

The numbers:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup honey (there is wiggle room for the proportion of honey to sugar; just make sure there's more brown sugar than honey. Honey is what makes this recipe; too much of it will unmake it)
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (very important)

3/4ish cup all-purpose flour (don't go over 1 cup or under 2/3; other than that, you're good)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2ish teaspoon ground cinnamon (I always go heavy, but don't go crazy. For once, you don't want the cinnamon to clash with the primary flavors; instead, you want it to enhance the vanilla and complement the oats)
1/4 teaspoon salt (I often use a half teaspoon, but I like more salt in my baked goods)
1 3/4ish cups rolled oats (don't go over 2 cups or under 1 1/2)

3/4ish cup cherries
1/2ish cup white chocolate chips
or 1/2 cup walnuts, pecans, etc.

Clearly, strict measurement is important to me. This is how I bake. I start with a basic recipe (oatmeal cookies, in this case), and throw stuff into a bowl until it smells good. That kind of experimentation is the best way to learn to bake and to cook in general. Don't be afraid to screw up. It happens to everybody. No recipe is foolproof. Happy baking!

Leave questions and recipe tweaks in the comments section. I'm looking forward to see how folks can improve upon this recipe!

1 comment:

  1. Mmm, I prefer cherries in my oatmeal cookies too. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog till Monday night and I'd love it if you'd come by and link your cookies up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2012/01/sweets-for-saturday-51.html