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I love cookies. Well really who doesn’t. I usually have a pound of butter sitting on the counter awaiting its transformation into delicious baked goods ~ generally cookies.

Oatmeal cookies are a favorite…when made well. Unfortunately I have had many more bad oatmeal cookies than I have ever had good. Bad oatmeal cookies are hard, dry, overly spiced & flat flavored. This inspired me to tool around with a recipe and create one that was what I deem the perfect oatmeal cookie.

What makes the perfect oatmeal cookie? Chewy. Dense. Perfectly spiced. Crispy edges, moist and chewy center. As to accouterments – raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, chocolate chips, candied ginger, walnuts, cashews…depends on what I am in the mood for. Today – chocolate and dried cherries.

The super secret to the texture of the perfect cookie? The bake time & temperature. Most cookies are baked at 375 for a touch over 10 minutes; oatmeal are baked at a lower temp, 350, and baked for a slightly longer time. Also they need to be taken from the oven before they look like they are done. Seriously. If you wait until they look like they are done they will be too dried out and will loose that chew when they cool and that is just sad.

If I am using raisins or any dried fruit I chop it up a bit before adding it to the batter to make the distribution more even. You dont have to, but it does make it so you have little bits of delicious all through the cookies.

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies  – makes about 24 cookies

  • 1 cup Butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 1/4 cup Rolled Oats – not quick cooking
  • 1 1/4 cup Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt – if using salted butter only add a pinch
  • 2 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Allspice
  • 1 bag Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup Dried Cherries – rough chop

Preheat the oven to 350. Line trays with parchment paper. Measure out the flour, baking soda, salt and spices and mix with a wire whisk in a bowl.

Cream the butter and sugars until just combined, add both the eggs and vanilla and mix to combine.

Creamed butter, sugars, eggs & vanilla

Add the oatmeal and mix in until combined.  Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. You dont want to mix it too much, it can make the cookies tough, but make sure that flour is completely incorporated. Add the chocolate chip and the dried cherries and mix on low until its all mixed up.

I use a black portion scoop to get perfectly rounded cookies and alleviate the messy spoons thing. Its also faster. Scoop the dough by heaping tablespoons onto the parchment lined sheets. I use half sheet trays and fit 6 on a tray – it bugs me when cookies smoosh together when baking so I usually err on the side of caution when traying them up, but realistically 8 is doable.

Ready to fire!

I bake them for 15 minutes in my oven, but all ovens are different. Set the timer for 14 minutes and check them to see if they need the other minute, mine always do. They are done when the edges are lightly browned and the middle still looks kind of raw.

About 3 minutes until they can be eaten.

Let them cool for a few minutes on the trays so they cookies can set up some then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely. Then eat them. With milk. They will make your mouth happy…and your house smell like heaven!

Happy baking!!

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