The best oatmeal cookies are crisp on the outside, chewy in the middle, and lightly browned at the edges, just like these. The nubby texture comes from the rolled oats. This recipe, with dried cherries, white chocolate and walnuts, is a variation of the original Toll House cookie, which was invented in the 1930s by Ruth Wakefield, a New England innkeeper. According to historians, when she was out of bakers’ chocolate, Wakefield chopped up a candy bar and added it to a favorite cookie batter.
Use this recipe as a blueprint. Bittersweet or milk chocolate chips can be substituted for the white chocolate, pecans or macadamia nuts can be used instead of walnuts, and raisins or cranberries can take the place of the cherries. If you’re adding raisins or dried cranberries, they don’t have to be chopped.
After baking the cookies, let them cool on the baking sheet a few minutes before transferring them to the rack. If you try to remove them too soon, they can break. Once the cookies are completely cool, they can go into a tightly closed tin.
Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Cherries and White Chocolate
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick-cooking (not instant) oats
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries
1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl to blend. Whisk in oats.
3. In a mixing bowl, beat butter, brown and granulated sugars, egg, and vanilla at medium speed until blended. Turn mixer to low speed and add flour mixture. Add white chocolate, walnuts and cherries. Mix until evenly distributed.
4. Drop by 1/4-cupfuls 2-inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake 13 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Place sheets on wire racks and let cool 3 minutes. Remove cookies to wire racks to cool. Makes 14 cookies.
Per cookie: 230 calories, 12g fat, 30mg chol., 3g prot., 28g carbs., 1g fiber, 85mg sodium
Photo credit: Teresa Blackburn