For purposes of full disclosure I must admit that I have never been a fan of oatmeal cookies. The oats and raisins automatically read "healthy" to me, and that's not exactly what I'm looking for in a cookie. In all of my years of cookie baking, not a single oatmeal cookie has come out of my kitchen. That is until yesterday.
I decided to face my oatmeal cookie fear and bake a batch. I mean, how bad could they be? They're cookies. The first thing that I noticed was that Cindy Mushet's Cherry Oatmeal Cookies recipe from The Art and Soul of Baking bore a striking resemblance to a basic chocolate chip and my fears began to dissipate. Once the oats and currants (no dried cherries on hand), went into the batter, I scooped out little balls and into the oven they went.
The finished cookies were not at all what I had expected. I had visions of chunky, clumpy cookies with chalky pieces of oatmeal still intact, but these were wafer thin and almost lacy, crisp around the edges with plenty of nice chew. After sampling more cookies than I care to admit, I was left wondering what I had been so scared of after all these years. These oatmeal cookies were rich and buttery—"healthy" is probably the last word that I would ever use to describe them, and for cookies that's a big plus.
Win The Art and Soul of Baking
As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Art and Soul of Baking to give away this week.
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened (65° to 68°F)
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (2 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (3 1/4 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 3/4 cup (3 1/2 ounces) dried sour cherries
Preheat the oven to 350°F and position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer and beat on medium speed until smooth and blended, about 2 minutes. You can also use a hand mixer and a medium bowl, although you may need to beat the mixture a little longer to achieve the same results. Scrape down the bowl with the spatula. Add the egg and vanilla and blend well.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to the butter mixture all at once. Turn the mixer to the lowest speed and blend slowly, just until there are no more patches of flour. Scrape down the bowl.
Add the oats and cherries and blend on low just until combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir gently a few times with the spatula to make sure there are no more patches of unincorporated flour or butter lurking near the bottom of the bowl.
Using the small ice cream scoop or a spoon, portion tablespoon-size mounds onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time, rotating the sheet halfway through, for 13 to 16 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown at the edges and still a bit pale in the center. Transfer to a cooling rack and let the cookies cool completely.
Storing tips: Keep the cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.