Thursday, June 13, 2013

sunny summery days

A wet spring led to lush, green summery days here in Chicago. My university is like a garden -- I sometimes eat my lunch beside this pond as I watch the turtles frolic.
Tonight I'm having a block party. Well, more like a blocking party. Many handknits fresh off the needles are getting baths. Once they're dry and be-buttonned, there will be plenty of knitting to post. For now, how about a delicious chewy oatmeal cherry chocolate chip cookie? Yum!

chewy oatmeal cherry chocolate chip cookies

1/2 C. butter, softened
2/3 C. light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon (I like Penzey's Ceylon cinnamon)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. old-fashioned, rolled oats (not instant!)
2/3 C. dried cherries (I use Trader Joe's dried pitted tart Montmorency cherries)
2/3 C. chocolate chips
1/3 C. pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon. and salt. Stir this into the creamed butter and sugar mixture. Stir in the oats, dried cherries, and nuts.

Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least one hour (or even overnight). The secret to keeping them chewy and preventing them from spreading is chilling the dough and putting the cookies in the oven while they're still cold!

When you’re ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F before you take the cookie dough out of the fridge. Scoop tablespoons of the dough and place two inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for approx. 12 minutes. Cookies are done when golden at the edges but still a little doughy-looking on top. Let cookies rest on the hot baking sheet for five minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.