Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cookies packed with goodness

There was a time when I seldom made cookies. They were messy, I reasoned, and not worth the effort. But I've changed my mind in the last few years, thanks to the purchase of a cookie scoop for the dough. (Actually, my sister might have bought my first one.)

So now, I think nothing of trying a new recipe, or pulling out an old one, so my family and I can enjoy fresh-baked cookies when we want them. With the help of the scoop, I can make relatively uniform cookies and don't have to form cookies into balls with my hands (which I hate). And if I happen to have parchment paper on hand, the whole process is even easier because there's no crusty cookie sheet to wash.

My latest effort was a variation of Flu-Fighter Cookies in the new Food Network Magazine. That recipe is jam packed with nuts and fruit and oatmeal and spices. The photograph showing the nuts and fruit on top made an enticing photo, so I made the recipe, with changes, of course. In fact, I made lots of changes.

My version of the cookie omits a few things, such as molasses, cloves, raisins, walnuts and dried cranberries. Instead, my cookies featured dried cherries and pecans, seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg. The big addition, however, was dark chocolate chips to complement the cherries.

Let me tell you just how good these cookies are, fresh out of the oven while the chocolate is still gooey! And the lemon zest adds the most wonderful, fragrant addition to the tasty treats.

My husband and I loved these cookies. I will be making them again.

Fruit and Oatmeal Cookies with Dark Chocolate
  • 2 1/4 cups self-rising flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 bag dried cherries (cut in half)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
Prepare cookie sheets either by lining with parchment paper or lightly coating with baking spray.

In a medium bowl, stir cinnamon and nutmeg into flour.

In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until creamy. Mix in eggs, yogurt and lemon zest. Slowly incorporate flour and spice mixture. Fold in oats, chocolate chips and half the dried cherries and half the pecans. Mix together remaining cherries and pecans and set aside.

Using a spoon or cookie scoop, drop tablespoonsful of dough onto prepared cookie sheets. Place remaining cherries and pecans on cookies. While oven is preheating to 375, let dough chill (on cookie sheet) in refrigerator.

Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. Don’t let cookies bake too long; cookies should be soft.
Makes about 30 cookies.

Adapted from Food Network Magazine

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