CHEWY CHERRY OATMEAL COOKIES
Several years ago, I made these cookies for the first time and couldn't believe how good they were. In my inexperience, I made the mistake of not writing down the recipe. For the last 3 years, I've tried to recreate them countless times, and come up short every time. Until now. I can honestly say these are the best oatmeal cookies of any kind I've ever had. They're crispy on the edges, thick, chewy, salty, and completely addictive. The little tart notes from the cherries also make these way better and more balanced than any oatmeal raisin cookie I (or you) have ever had. Consider making two batches, because they will go fast.
Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Active time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 12 minutes per tray (24 minutes total)
Makes 12 large cookies
1+1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1+3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1+1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup roughly chopped dried tart cherries
1.) Begin by preheating the oven to 350° F. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and distribute your old fashioned oats across the sheet. Toast in the preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, tossing the oats halfway through. When they're done, the oats should be fragrant and may take on a light color. We're only trying to get these lightly toasted, so keep an eye on them.
2.) In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt and stir briefly to combine.
3.) In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to beat room temperature butter on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add both the dark brown and white sugar to the butter and beat for another 30 seconds until sugar is well incorporated. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and beat for 1 minute, scraping the sides of the bowl halfway through.
4.) Add half the dry ingredients to the mix, and, using a rubber spatula, fold the ingredients together, scooping from the outside of the bowl into the center. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and repeat.
5.) When almost no dry streaks remain, add toasted oats and chopped cherries and fold in until well distributed. Once distributed and no more dry streaks remain, stop mixing.
6.) Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (or silicone baking mats if you have them) and divide dough into 12 even balls. Each ball will be roughly 2 tbsp; these will be large cookies! Distribute them six to a tray, and transfer trays to the fridge for at least 90 minutes, but longer if you'd like. This allows the dough to firm up and for all the salt and vanilla to incorporate into the dough and create a truly wonderful cookie flavor.
7.) Preheat your oven to 375° F and remove the first tray of cookies from the fridge to come up to temperature for 15 minutes. Sprinkle the top of each dough ball with kosher salt and bake each tray for 12 minutes total, taking the cookies out of the oven briefly at the 6 and 9 minute marks to slam the cookie tray on the counter a couple times; this will help flatten them slightly and create a nice cracked texture across the top. When you put the first tray in the oven, pull the second tray out of the fridge. At 12 minutes, the cookies will still feel completely soft and may look slightly underbaked, but will have nice color around the edges and on the bottom. This is exactly what you want; they will continue to bake as they cool.
8.) Let the cookies cool for 15-20 minutes, or until they've firmed up around the edges and are soft in the center. Pour an accompanying beverage of your choice and enjoy 1, 2, or 5 cookies. No judgement; they're worth it.