chewy white chocolate cherry pecan oatmeal cookies

Yes, you read the title correctly:  chewy white chocolate cherry pecan oatmeal cookies.  Now, say that ten times fast.  Go!

Today is the posting date for the the 2012 Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. This is my second year participating in this rad event run by Love & Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen.  The G.F.B.C.S. is a modernized version of the cookie swaps our moms did when we were kids, with a dash of surprise.  Each participating food blogger submits her info and is randomly grouped up with three other bloggers to whom they mail cookies.  The twist is: you’re not allowed to contact the recipients of your cookies beforehand.  It’s a lot of fun to send the cookies out, but I must say, it’s equally, if not more,exciting to be on the receiving end, not knowing what cookies you’re going to end up with, or from whom.   This year, I baked cookies for  Brittany of Life of a Bama Girl (coincidentally, again), Tara of Trippin With Tara, and Maneesha of Twice Charmed Gourmet.   I received the following yummy dozens:

Smores cookies from Justina of Fail Sweetly
Cashew cookies from Megan of Stylish Food
Chewy chocolate cherry cookies from Melissa at Melissa Likes To Eat

Joe and I have devoured each and every cookie and I am sad to say they’re long gone.  I only wish we could do this every month : )

So, that’s the long and short of the swap.  Now, on to the cookies.  I picked an old standby – the classic Quaker Oats vanishing oatmeal recipe – and made a couple of small changes.  I threw in a few of my favorite seasonal flavors: luxurious white chocolate, tart cherries, and nutty pecans.  Every bite of these cookies made me feel warm and fuzzy – just the fact that there are oats in there makes me believe I’m being healthy… for about one split second. A short moment later, plenty of butter reminds me I’m not.   The white chocolate, cherry, and pecans add decadence to an otherwise ordinary cookie in the spirit of the holiday season.

The other change I made involved a dough chilling technique that is supposed to increase the chewy factor.  Now, you’re either a crispy or chewy cookie lover – I’m the latter.  I don’t think there is any middle ground here either (with the exception of very few cookies – I’m talking to you, biscotti).  “Give me chewy cookies or give me death.”  Okay, that might be a little dramatic, but I’ve been called worse.

So, here goes the recipe.  I really hope you give them a try – they are a truly tasty, indulgent, and fun twist on traditional oatmeal cookies.  Happy holidays, food lovers!


chewy white chocolate cherry pecan oatmeal cookies
Slightly adapted from Quaker Oats’ recipe
Yields about 4 dozen

1/2  cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons salted butter, softened
3/4  cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2  cup granulated sugar
2  eggs
1  teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2  cups all-purpose flour
1  teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2  teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4  teaspoon salt
3  cups old fashioned oats
2/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans
2/3 cup white chocolate
2/3 cup dried cherries

In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats, pecans, chocolate, and cherries; mix well.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Heat oven to 350°F. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets.  [Whatever dough can't fit in the oven, put back in the refrigerator until it's time to bake it.]

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

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