Baking White Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

When I set my cookie goal, I was hoping I would go a little further than just rote baking. Even beyond the experiments and improving technique, I thought it would be cool to come up with my own cookie recipe.

Well. I’m not quite there yet. I have learned a lot, but I’m not sure I’m ready to start with a blank slate yet. However, I was inspired to come up with a flavor combination on my own.

I love cherries. For the 2 months over the summer when they’re available, I buy (and eat) on average two bags a week. And for the rest of the year, I’m eating dried cherries.

I thought white chocolate would be a nice contrast with the tart flavor of the cherries. But it didn’t seem like enough to take a chocolate chip cookie recipe and replace the mix-ins, so I went with my go-to to add oatmeal.

With that, I needed a different base, and I decided to start with a recipe from Ocean Spray for cranberry oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies.

I didn’t plan well, so I had to use both refrigerated and also frozen butter, which I lightly microwave to bring up to temperature.

The butter and sugar mixed pretty well, though I’m still suspicious about my flexible beater: I don’t think it’s scraping the edge very well anymore. I just looked at some reviews, and other have complained about its durability.

Next, I added the eggs, and it didn’t combine at all: it looked like bits of butter floating in egg. I suspect the butter was too cold, and my two eggs were both pretty big.

However, I didn’t think too hard on it and forged ahead with the recipe. After adding the dry ingredients, the dough came together, and I threw in the oatmeal as well.

I put the cherries and white chocolate chips in, though I’m not certain if I did a great job actually dispersing them evenly through the dough.

I forgot to take a picture of the dough balls before I put them in, but I did have a minor experiment in this batch. In the Food Lab Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, Kenji suggests leaving craggy cookies to get better edges. I also noted some issues with oatmeal cookies in the past for how well they stuck together.

To test how important it is to have compact or loose cookies, I used the cookie scoop for all of them, but I only hand smoothed half of them.

Rolled and scooped clearly baked up differently, but they tasted about the same. I think the rolled ones look tidier, though.

I thought the cookies were a little light, so I baked the second batch for a minute or two longer. I think the oven must have heated up more as well, since the second batch were much darker.

Overall, I think the cookies ended up being fine. I liked the cherry and white chocolate, but perhaps the base recipe wasn’t my favorite. Maybe I should have started with those crash-o-cookies instead.

You can find the original recipe from Ocean Spray and tweak it as you see fit.

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