Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Sweets - Cha-Cha-Cha Cookies

I have dubbed these Cha-Cha-Cha Cookies because they hit the trifecta of cookie-dom:  Chocolate,  Cherries,  and Chewiness.  These put a new spin on chocolate chip oatmeal cookies and would be great on any holiday cookie platter.

Cha-Cha-Cha Cookies
aka Chocolate-Chunk Oatmeal Cookies with Pecans & Dried Cherries
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated magazine
(click here to print recipe)

1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 sticks (12 T.) butter, softened (do not use margarine)
1 1/4 cups light or dark brown sugar (dark gives a deeper flavor)
1 large egg

1 1/4 cups oatmeal (regular or quick oats but NOT instant)
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1 cup semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (I prefer Ghiradelli)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put the pecans in a small baking pan and toast for 5-10 minutes (set the timer so they won't burn) or until browned.

Measure dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, soda, and salt) and whisk to combine. 

Cream butter and brown sugar together until light.  Add egg.  Beat well.  Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined.  Add cherries, chocolate chips, pecans, and oatmeal and stir in by hand.

Use a cookie scoop (I used the 1 1/4 oz. size) or two tablespoons to drop the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet.  I put 12 on each sheet pan.  Flatten slightly with your hand. 

Bake for 10-11 minutes or until lightly browned.  If they crack slightly, the cracks should still look a little wet and underdone.  Don't overbake or they won't be chewy.

Cool on pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.  Enjoy with a tall glass of ice cold milk.  Makes about 2 dozen.

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