Monday, July 7, 2014

Chocolate Cherry Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Are you like me? Do you get excited when it is cherry season and grab a huge bag  of them? Then you realize that it actually takes awhile to get through that bag? And then you start to worry about how you'll finish them before they go bad?
If you aren't like me, well, I guess I applaud you. If you ARE like me, then put your worries aside. Cherries go great in desserts. This is a universal truth. Like ketchup makes everything taste better. Except Ketchup.
Well, here in Pittsburgh I finally got into a kitchen with an oven. (THREE ovens actually!) It was so nice to be back in a kitchen and creating delicious creations like these cookies. I found a recipe and added some things and took out others and the results were magic. Using cherries in their raw form (not dried) brings a pop of freshness and juice when you bite into these. The mixture of coconut, chocolate, and oatmeal makes for a wonderful base to deliver the tart/sweetness of the cherry. All the folks in my Summerfest program here in Pittsburgh agreed that these were amazing.
So, if you have cherries that need to be used, try this great recipe!
Chocolate Cherry Coconut Oatmeal Cookies (adapted from What's Gaby Cooking)
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1 cups old-fashioned oats
2 Tablespoons chocolate powder (hot chocolate mix works)
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup diced cherries

In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugars via stirring or electric mixer.. Mix together for 2 minutes until the sugars are incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract. Add the flour, baking soda, sea salt and baking powder and slowly combine, making sure not to over-mix the batter. Add the coconut, oats, chocolate powder, chocolate chips, and cherries. Gently fold them into the dough. Refrigerate batter while oven is heating.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place small scoops of dough spread out 12 times onto each parchment lined baking sheet. Transfer sheets into over and bake for 14-16 minutes until the cookies slightly turn golden brown on the edges but are still soft and chewy in the middle. Remove from oven, transfer to cooling rack. Repeat process for remaining dough. Cool for a little bit and then enjoy!
Bake well and prosper

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