Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

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.

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