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Chocolate-Chunk Oatmeal Cookies with Pecans and Dried Cherries From America's Test Kitchen

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WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:
Oatmeal cookies can be great vehicles for additional flavors, but it’s easy to get carried away and overload the dough with a crazy jumble of ingredients resulting in a poorly textured cookie monster. Our ultimate oatmeal cookie would have just the right amount of added ingredients and an ideal texture—crisp around the edges and chewy in the middle. We wanted to add four flavor components—sweet, tangy, nutty, and chocolaty—to the underlying oat flavor. Bittersweet chocolate, dried sour cherries (or cranberries), and toasted pecans gave the right balance of flavors. We also analyzed the cookie dough ingredients and discovered that cookies made with brown sugar were moister and chewier than cookies made with granulated sugar. A combination of baking powder and baking soda (we doubled the usual amount) produced cookies that were light and crisp on the outside, but chewy, dense, and soft in the center. Finally, we focused on appearance to decide when to remove the cookies from the oven—they should be set but still look wet between the fissures; if they look matte rather than shiny, they’ve been overbaked. (less)

Makes sixteen 4-inch cookies
We like these cookies made with pecans and dried sour cherries, but walnuts or skinned hazelnuts can be substituted for the pecans, and dried cranberries for the cherries. Quick oats used in place of the old-fashioned oats will yield a cookie with slightly less chewiness. If your baking sheets are smaller than the ones described in the recipe, bake the cookies in three batches instead of two. These cookies keep for 4 to 5 days stored in an airtight container or zipper-lock plastic bag, but they will lose their crisp exterior and become uniformly chewy after a day or so.

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Chocolate-Chunk Oatmeal Cookies with Pecans and Dried Cherries From America's Test Kitchen 1 Picture

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups (6 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (3 3/4 ounces) old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) dried tart cherries
  • 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips or 4 oz. of chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), slightly softened
  • 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Details

Servings 16
Preparation time 10mins
Cooking time 30mins
Adapted from americastestkitchen.com

Preparation

Step 1

Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another medium bowl, mix together dried cherries, toasted pecans, oats, and chocolate chips.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together butter and sugar until no lumps remain, about 1 minute. Add the egg and vanilla, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula if necessary and mix for about 30 seconds. On low-speed, slowly add the flour mixture until just combined. Then turn off the mixer and fold in the oats and cherry mixture with a rubber spatula.
Roll dough into 1/4-inch balls and place on the baking sheet, lightly flattening each ball to 1-inch thickness. Place the balls 2 1/2 inches apart on the cookies sheets.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 20-22 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet halfway through, until cookies are medium brown and the edges are set. Don't worry, the cookies will appear a little underbaked in the middle.
Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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