Chewy Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Covered Cherries

Meet your new favorite cookie! I was planning to do a variation on traditional oatmeal raisin cookies by adding dried cherries and chocolate chips. I'm sure that would have been awesome, but then I saw gorgeous chocolate covered cherries in the bulk bin section of my favorite market... Plans change, right? And I'm so glad they did this time. These are incredible - there are just enough cherries to add sweetness and chewiness, without taking away from the signature flavor of an oatmeal cookie.

Versatile cookie dough: You will love this cookie dough - it's a basic yet fabulous oatmeal cookie dough that is open to many variations.

Let's think about those variations: This time chocolate covered cherries - next time, I might try chocolate covered blueberries or espresso beans! You can also fold in chopped walnuts, peanuts, and any dried fruit you like.

These cookies spread! Take note, as is the case with many oatmeal cookie recipes, the cookies spread as they bake, so make sure you leave at least 2 inches between each mound on the baking sheet.

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Covered Cherries

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup oats, regular or quick-cooking
3/4 cup chocolate covered cherries, or any chocolate covered fruit, or chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix until blended and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Beat in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture and then beat in the oats.
Fold in the chocolate covered cherries.
Drop the cookie dough by level tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on wire racks for a few minutes before serving.
Makes 24 cookies