What happens when you pack a rich buttery dough with an outrageous amount thick rolled oats, dried tart cherries from Traverse City, cacao nibs, almonds, and dark chocolate chips? Did you say pure heaven? Because I'm pretty sure that's what these cookies are.
I've been making versions of this recipe for years now - often packing them with whatever dried fruit or nuts I have in the pantry. While they're always satisfying, I don't think any combination will ever match the perfection of tart cherries, chocolate, almonds, and crunchy roasty cacao nibs. So mix it up, make these on a whim, but do try your best to include the cacao nibs - they're my favorite part!
I topped my cookies with a hearty sprinkle of this new salt from The Meadows here in Portland. Flakey sea salt from whales is absolutely covered in vanilla bean specks, creating a perfectly sweet, salty, and herbal infusion to top chocolate filled cookies. I've been itching to make some cookies since I bought it - knowing they would be the perfect use.
This recipe will make a serious batch of cookies, and I'll be honest - it's more cookies than I want to have in the house unless I'm planning to bring them somewhere (or planning to have cookies for breakfast all week). Thankfully, this dough freezes like a dream! I love pre-scooping cookies and freezing them for later. Just give them time to freeze on a baking dish or sheet pan, then toss them into a freezer bag for later! You can bake them right out of the freezer (or just eat cookie dough straight from the freezer whenever you get a craving... you know you will!).
I love making these with all whole wheat pastry flour. The fine grind of the flour results in a cookie that doesn't taste like it was made with whole wheat, and you can rest assured that you're getting in some whole grains when you eat a few too many cookies. Whole wheat flour + thick rolled oats is sure to equal a healthy cookie despite the two cups of sugar and big mound of butter!
Depending on your tastes (and what you have in your cupboard), you can always make these with your typical all-purpose flour, or a mixture. You're in charge here! I will, however, take a moment to sing my praises for whole wheat pastry flour. While I've learned that it isn't a totally foolproof alternative for white flours - in more recipes than not you can replace white flour with this magic (a simple one to one substitute, or a mixture!) and have stunning results. I've aways been a little weary of baking with whole grains, because some baked goods I just want to keep as they are. Whole wheat pastry flour has been my glorious answer! Cookies, pancakes, quick breads, muffins, pasta and more. Whole wheat can be so much less overpowering than it often is!
Okay. Stepping down from my little whole wheat pastry flour soapbox. Use it. Don't use it. It's up to you. But me? I'm a convert!
Cherry Chocolate Almond Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup cane sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, all purpose flour, or a mixture of the two
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups thick rolled oats
1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped
1 cup dried tart cherries
1/2 cup cocoa nibs
1 cup chocolate chips
- Cream together the butter and sugars in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, with a hand-held mixer, or with a strong arm and a good wooden spoon.
- Mix in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla, stirring to incorporate after each addition.
- In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the flour mixture into the butter mixture, and stir until just combined. If you're using a stand or hand mixer, do this on the lowest setting to avoid over-mixing the dough.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, and continue mixing just until they're evenly distributed.
- Scoop spoonfuls the dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment, silicone, or butter and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, until just cooked.
- Let rest on a cooling rack until completely cool,