We are in full cookie exchange season and I am loving it! This week I participated in an exchange at work and we ended up with seven varieties of cookies (and recipes). SEVEN!!! It had been several years since I last participated in a cookie exchange and I had kind of forgotten how great it is. I love seeing what people bring in and the stories behind the recipes. This is such a great way of using food to create community. With each story that is told about a recipe, we get to know each other a little bit better.
I am a huge fan of any category of dessert – cakes, pastries, tarts, etc. But let’s be real here, cookies are awesome for several reasons. They are typically easy to make. Most recipes make at least a couple dozen cookies which means you have more to share. If you aren’t needing a few dozen cookies to share, you can always freeze them for later. Actually, you can freeze the dough into individual cookie dough balls and then bake them when the craving strikes. OR, you can bake them all from the get go and just thaw them out when you’re ready for a treat. Cookies really do have a flexibility that most other desserts just don’t have.
For this year’s cookie exchange, I reached into my grandmother’s recipe box. To be fair, I chose this Oatmeal Cherry Cookie recipe partly because I already had all but one ingredient in the house and partly because it sounded like a fun twist on the more traditional oatmeal cookie. The maraschino cherries add a different sweetness than the raisins you would typically find in an oatmeal cookie but they also give a festive pop of color. These cookies are a bit smaller than what most recipes seem to make but I actually really love the size. It gives you that sweet treat that you’re looking for without over indulging. This recipe is also perfect for a cookie exchange because it makes FIVE dozen cookies. That’s right, no need to double the recipe. You’ll get five dozen little cookies out of the recipe as it is. You’re welcome.
OATMEAL CHERRY COOKIES
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats
- 3/4 cup red maraschino cherries, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda and cloves. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat shortening, sugars, egg, and vanilla extract.
- Stir dry ingredients into sugar mixture.
- Stir in oats and cherries.
- Drop dough by the teaspoonfuls, two inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake 12-14 minutes.