I am not a baker. But all the freezing rain and sleet and snow and cold got to me, and I had to bake. Baking feels like such a warm and cozy activity. I had to bake something chocolate. And oatmeal. Then I rationalized if I made something heart-healthy and bit-sized – cookies! – it would be okay that I didn’t go the gym with Craig this evening (seriously, but that’s another story). The tartness of the dried cherries complements the deep flavor of the (healthier) bittersweet chocolate, and the result is a soft-centered, crunchy-edged, not too sweet cookie. These are winners – and a repeater.
My rendition of the recipe is as true to the original from Cooking Light as I could manage, which is an accomplishment. It supposedly yields 30 cookies. No way. I doubled the recipe and baked the cookies on Silpat liners for less time. I like Trader Joe’s dark dried cherries that are unsweetened and unsulfured – inexpensive and large enough that I chopped them in half for this recipe. Next time I may add flaxseed for more nutrition and crunchier texture.
Craig and Connor aren’t going to complain about winter weather if this yummy trend keeps up.
Chocolate-Cherry Heart Smart Cookies
True Yield: 25 cookies
1.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/3 cup)
1.5 ounces whole-wheat flour (about 1/3 cup)
1-1/2 C old-fashioned rolled oats
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
6 T unsalted butter
3/4 C packed light brown sugar – I used a bit less
1 C dried cherries
1 t vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 ounces Ghiradelli 60% cocoa bittersweet chocolate chips
Cooking spray – not needed if using a Silpat
Preheat oven to 350°.
Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours and next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk.
Cool on pans 3 minutes or until almost firm. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks.