Oatmeal Chocolate Cherry Cookies

One of my favorite weekend getaways is Door County, Wisconsin. Located on the “thumb” of Wisconsin, Door County is the ideal place to relax at a B&B, take in a traditional fish boil and enjoy all things cherry. Wisconsin (mostly Door County) ranks 5th in the Nation for cherry production. So when you visit the county, it’s cherry overload. Cherry pie, cherry wine, jam, juice, french toast… I snagged some dried montmorency cherries when I was there last and set out to create something yummy with them. These soft, oatmeal cookies are studded with cherries and chocolate chips. It’s a perfect combination of sweet, tart and chocolate all in one cookie. Add a little bit of Wisconsin to your upcoming holidays and give these a shot! Enjoy!

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Oatmeal Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Yields: 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients:20170430_130343

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Directions:20170430_131235

1.) Combine the softened butter, sugar, and brown sugar in bowl and mix on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

2.) Add in eggs and vanilla extract and mix until well incorporated.20170430_131555

3.) Next mix in flour, salt, baking soda and oats. Mix just until ingredients blend together.

4.) Lastly, fold in the dried cherries and chocolate chips until evenly distributed throughout the batter.20170430_131803

5.) Let dough sit for 30 – 60 minutes in the refrigerator.  While dough is resting, preheat oven to 350° F.

6.) Drop cookie dough by 2 teaspoons onto baking sheet and bake at 350° F for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown on bottom and edges. Remove from oven and let cool on pan for 1 minute then transfer to wire cooling rack. Store in air tight container up to 3 days or freeze.

Notes and Tips:

  • I like to use semi-sweet chocolate in these cookies because the cherries and cookie base add sweetness and the bittersweet chocolate is a good balance.
  • If you aren’t a fan of cherries, you could also use dried cranberries or raisins.

 


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Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

Things have been “bananas” lately so I thought it would be fitting to make a treat out of bananas. These banana oatmeal chocolate chip muffins are a perfect addition to any busy morning or for a great snack. The oatmeal adds texture and the chocolate chips add a bit of sweetness. The base of this recipe is my standby banana bread recipe. I enjoy making the banana muffins slightly more than the bread because it’s the same great taste and it takes half the time. Give them a shot- enjoy!

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Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

Recipe adapted from: Pillsbury

Yields: 18 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar20160117_155945.jpg
  • 1 cup (2 medium) mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:20160117_160745.jpg

1.) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper muffin liners in the muffin cups.

2.) In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter until well incorporated. Next mix in the mashed bananas.20160117_161117.jpg

3.) Add the vanilla extract and the 2 eggs and mix well.

4.) Next stir in the flour, baking soda, salt and oats. Lastly fold in the chocolate chips.

5.) Using a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop, fill muffin cups until 2/3 full with batter.20160117_161938.jpg

6.) Bake muffins in 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes (or until toothpick inserted into center of muffins comes out clean). The tops should be lightly browned. Take muffins out of pan and cool on cooling racks. Store in air tight container.

Notes and Tips:

  • Make sure your butter is at room temperature before you start mixing the batter. Softened butter will make for a smooth, creamy batter.
  • Using well-browned (or even black!) bananas will create a strong punch of banana flavor for the muffins.
  • Feel free to omit the chocolate chips and/or add 1/2 cup of your favorite nut.
  • If you are looking to cut a few calories- I’ve made these muffins in the past with 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup of Splenda and they turned out just as tasty.
  • These muffins freeze very well and can be defrosted quickly in the AM for breakfast or for drop-in guests. Freeze in zip top bags and defrost muffins for 30 seconds in the microwave.

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S’mores Fudge Bars

One of my all-time favorite summer desserts are s’mores. They are classic, fun, messy and bring you back to a simpler time. Now traditionally you need a camp fire, roaster sticks, and perfectly roasted marshmallows to construct a campfire s’more. If you are looking for a less messy alternative, these S’more Fudge Bars are a fantastic spin on the traditional summer treat.

These bars have an amazing texture and they start with a chewy, and slightly salty, graham cracker base. Next is a thick layer of rich fudge, all topped off with fluffy, homemade marshmallow. Absolutely. Amazing. The trickiest part of the recipe is making the marshmallow and that’s easy peasy as long as you have a candy thermometer. Give them a shot- you won’t be disappointed. If you are still stuck on the traditional campfire s’mores and want to take them to the WOW level, check out directions for homemade marshmallows here. Enjoy!

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The New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

Most people share a common love of the classic chocolate chip cookie. It’s almost a rite of passage as a baker to master the chocolate chip cookie. However, everyone thinks they have the best recipe of all time. Well I came across this recipe from The New York Times for, what is supposedly, the best chocolate chip cookie. I was skeptical, but there were a lot of comments about how wonderful these cookies taste. Even though I had some doubts, I decided to give them a whirl.

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Oatmeal Carmelitas

Oatmeal Carmelitas- I cannot say enough about these bars because they will knock your socks off! With Valentine’s Day coming up later this week, I’d like to recommend a different kind of treat for your loved one. I mean, aren’t chocolates and flowers overrated? These Oatmeal Carmelitas will gain you major brownie points because they contain chocolate AND are homemade with love. These rich, cookie-like bars have a buttery, oatmeal crust and are topped with a layer of chocolate and lots of gooey caramel. They are very simple to make and are a fun change to the standard cookie.

carm stackI’ve seen variations of this recipe all over the internet lately, but I was able to trace it back to, what I believe is, the original recipe from Pillsbury from 1967. I am saddened that I have yet to come across this recipe until recently, because they are that good! I’ve made them three times since my cousin first introduced them to me a few months ago. They, without a doubt, will be a staple in my recipe book going forward. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake

Chocolate is one of my all-time, favorite flavors. Even as I’m writing this post, I’m sipping a cup of hot coco. I think I have chocolate on the brain because I’ve made this cake twice in the past month- it’s that good! I made it the first time while baking with my cousin and a second time to bring to a potluck. This chocolate bundt cake topped with ganache has fantastically rich chocolate flavor without being overwhelming. In the past I thought that bundt cakes were dry, outdated, and something you bring to a dinner party as a hostess gift. However, this cake has changed my mind because is really moist, dense and delicious. The layer of chocolate ganche adds a lot dimension and richness to the cake and tops it off (literally)! Give it a try- enjoy!

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Great Pumpkin Cookies

Happy November! When I think of November, apples and pumpkins come to mind. Now I’m the first to admit, I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin-flavored sweets – until I tasted these cookies. In college, my friend’s mom would send these cookies in a care package every Fall, and my friend was kind enough to share them! After the first year, I was hooked.

These cookies have just enough pumpkin flavor without being overwhelming. They also have a fluffy, cake-like texture, and the oatmeal and chocolate chips add another dimension. They are similar to cut-out cookies in the sense that you can eat them plain, or decorate them to your heart’s content! Have a happy Fall, and enjoy!

frosted cookies

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