Double Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Cherries & Almonds

IMG_3305One of the things I love about these cookies is how much they have going on. I mean, they aren’t just oatmeal cookies loaded with add-ins…they’re chocolate-oatmeal cookies loaded with add-ins. They’re not just chocolate-oatmeal cookies; they’re chocolate-oatmeal cookies stuffed full of dried cherries, chocolate chips, and almonds. And they’re not just double chocolate-cherry cookies because they have oats (and almonds!) as well!

….This game seems to be called how many times can I type the words chocolate, cherries, oatmeal, and almonds in a single paragraph. Looks like I’m winning, whatever that means.

Because I am me, I couldn’t just leave well enough alone so I ended up with these fabulous flavor-packed cookies. I just kept thinking of new additions that would make them even better and finally made myself stop when the recipe title got to 8 words (not counting my sneaky “&” sign). I was quite pleased with the end product though…we’ve got rich, chocolate-based cookies studded with sweet-tart dried cherries, dark chocolate chips (because, duh), and nutty slivered almonds BUT they’re also full of oatmeal to get that hearty, chewy texture that every oatmeal-cookie-lover adores. With all those different textures and flavors going on, you won’t be able to stop reaching for another.IMG_3298

Lucky for me and my arteries, these cookies were baked for my brother’s fellow EMTs & paramedics (upon his request) and were scooted out of the house before trouble, aka my slightly flawed philosophy that crumb calories don’t count, could ensue. (This zero-calorie philosophy also applies to raw cookie dough, pieces of streusel topping, and the chocolatey bits that stick to the knife while cutting brownies. Just so you know.)

My brother’s pleading text went something like this: “If you baked something for the EMS people I’m sure they would all be eternally grateful…They just get short on food this time of the month.”  What was I supposed to do, ignore a bunch of life-saving selfless people who also happened to be working on empty stomachs? Guilt-trip galore…and it worked, of course.

Feel free to play around with this recipe, substituting some add-ins for others, but make sure you try them! The chocolate-oatmeal combination is fabulous, and filling them with dried fruit, nuts, and chocolate takes these cookies to an even higher level of deliciousness!IMG_3316

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Cherries & Almonds

Makes about 18 large cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 & 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup chopped almonds

Directions:

Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla, mixing until smooth.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and oats. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, mixing just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips, dried cherries, and chopped almonds. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes (you can bake right away, but the chilling will prevent spreading and keep the cookies nice and thick).

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon mats. Scoop the dough into balls about 2 tablespoons large and place on cookie sheets, spaced at least 2 inches apart.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until edges are set and centers are no longer shiny. They may look slightly underdone but will firm up as they cool. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

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