Ascanio’s Chocolate Chip and Cherry Cookies.

Breakfast Cookies

These Chocolate Chip & Cherry Cookies are good at any time of the day, but with added oats, breakfast cereal, and, uh fruit, I think these make a marvelous breakfast cookie. AND they go great with dark roast coffee. 😉

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These are totally inspired by an online serial I’ve been reading from my favorite author couple, Ilona Andrews. If you haven’t read their Kate Daniels series, I highly recommend you do. In Kate Daniels world, magic and tech wash over the world in unpredictable waves. One minute car engines work, but when the magic comes the engine will die. Then people have to chant magical spells to get their “magic” engines to work. It’s a world full of ware-beasts, lions, hyenas, bears, and other magical beings. The last book in the series, Magic Triumphs was released in 2018. The authorlords have given us online snippets in the Kate Daniels universe that have made their book-devouring horde of fans squee with delight!

It’s on their website now posted in delicious installments within their blog. It started on the blog as a snippet under the heading “Adult Julie” but has since become “Ryder”. In a recent installment, Ryder is in her kitchen baking chocolate chip cookies. The image of the cookies on the blog made me crave my grandmother’s holiday chocolate chip cookies. They are kind of like a chocolate chip cookie mated with a fruit cake. I remember trying to get her to bake them without candied ginger and dates. Now I make my own version at the holidays with just candied red and green cherries and sometimes dates if I have them. I add some other ingredients that add to the uniqueness of these cookies and bring some nutritional value to them!

So now you know why I make chocolate chip cookies with candied cherries. I chose green after reading Ryder: Part 11. Here’s a tasty quote.

“ …Magic pinched me. I peeked out of the kitchen in time to see the street light up with green through the doorway. Ascanio walked out of the shadows and strolled up to my house. I thought that trail of grass green I’d noticed at the murder scene looked familiar.

“Ascanio leaned in the doorway, arms crossed, a slight smile on his lips. It had to be his sexy, nonchalant pose. I wasn’t sure if I was expected to toss my underwear in his direction or just fall back with my legs in the air. He’d realized that he stared like an idiot and now he was trying to recover, like a driver who drifted onto the shoulder and overcorrected trying to get back in his lane.
“Nice ward.”
“Keeps out the riff raff.”
A ruby light rolled over his irises. “Can I have a cookie?”
“No.”… ”

Ilona Andrews
Ascanio’s Chocolate Chip Cookies with Candied Cherries

I imagine this is what chocolate chip cookies would look like if Ascanio baked them for “Ryder.” The installments have been a great distraction and it’s fun to read snippets from our favorite characters.

Update: Ryder is now “Blood Heir” and it is being released on January 12, 2020!!!

Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookie ingredients

It’s been hot and muggy so I’ve been doing my “baking” on the grill. It’s hard to keep it at 350 degrees, but it’s worth it. They get a little dark and flat if the heat gets past 350 so keep an eye on them. Now for my secret ingredients! The first gives the cookies a little hint of crunch and you’ll think these cookies have toffee bits in them. They don’t!

Browned butter and Grape-Nuts!

Grape-Nuts (mine are generic) soaked in hot browned butter until the butter has cooled enough to make the cookies.

Dry ingredients

Oats and pecans – leaving some coarsely chopped and some chopped finely.

Coarse and finely chopped dark and milk chocolate

Multiple types and brands of chocolate, chips, and bar chocolate. Some chocolate chopped finely so that it almost melts into the dough, some whole chips, some small chunks. Milk and dark. Dove Promises, Godiva chips, Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate, and/or Private Selection (real chocolate) are all our favorites. I just looked up Godiva Chips on Amazon and the price is sky high! I bought mine at Kroger cheaper and I hope everyone can buy what you need at the grocery store now. Even the toilet paper shelves are filling up again.

Chocolate Chip Candied Cherry Breakfast Cookies
Ascansio’s Chocolate Chip Cookies with Candied Cherries

Ascanio’s Chocolate Chip Cherry Brown-Butter Cookies {Chocolate Chip Cherry Breakfast Cookies}

These cookies are good, really, really good… and they know it!
Chock full of secret ingredients, these unique chocolate chip cookies are suitable for breakfast or a snack, with or without the candied cherries!
This recipe is inspired by my grans Holiday Fruit Cookies. They had red and green candied cherries, and what I think was probably all the dried or candied fruit you would find in a fruit cake, but mixed into chocolate chip cookie dough. I add oats and cereal so I can feel good about grabbing one with my coffee in the morning!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chilling the dough after mixing makes for thicker cookies. Not necessary. 15 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 28
Calories 209 kcal


  • 1 medium bowl, 1 large bowl, measuring cups, spoons, fork, spatula, cookie sheet, parchment (optional), knife
  • Saucepan to brown a stick of butter
  • food processor/chopper – Optional, but will make chopping the oats and nuts quicker!


  • 1 stick butter Simmerred in a skillet until browned. I use salted.
  • 2 eggs Lightly beaten in large bowl
  • 2 tbsp milk Half & half or milk
  • tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp lemon juice (This allegedly helps poof them up and make them chewy)
  • ¼ cup butter flavored Crisco While I prefer Butter-flavored Crisco, you can use more butter instead, but not melted or browned.
  • cup chocolate chips or chunks I use whatever chocolate I have. I prefer a mixture of milk and dark chocolate, Dove, Hershey, Private Sellection chunks and/or Godiva chips. Or chop your own from chocolate bars.
  • ¾ cup pecans Walnuts or pecans, I used pecans.
  • ¾ cup oats Chopped- some fine, some coarse.
  • ½ cup brown sugar If you are NOT adding cherries, add 2 tbsp additional brown sugar.
  • 2 tbsp sugar If you are NOT adding cherries, increase sugar to 1/4
  • cup Grape-Nuts cereal Shhh, it’s a secret ingredient! You can use Post Grape-Nuts, or a generic brand.Makes these cookies mysterious, like there’s slightly crunchy toffee in them.
  • cup flour I use half AP and half white whole wheat, or whatever I have.
  • 2 tbsp flour Used when chopping the cherries.
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder If you like flatter cookies, only use ¼ tsp
  • tsp nutmeg Just a few fresh gratings or a pinch of nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon I like Enspice Sri Lankan Cinnamon
  • 8 oz candied cherries Not maraschino, but candied cherries like these found in the baking aisle. You can usually find red and green around the holidays. Chopped dates and dried cherries would also work, but they won’t be nearly as pretty!


  • Add the stick of butter to a skillet and simmer until it starts to brown. This will take just a few minutes, stir occasionally. Once browned, remove from heat.
  • Stir the Grape-Nuts into the browned butter and set aside to cool.
    Browned butter and Grape-Nuts!
  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Lightly whisk eggs and milk, and vanilla together.
  • Add in both sugars and ½ cup butter flavored Crisco or butter. Stir and mix with a fork, then a spatula until the largest chunks of Crisco or butter are smoothed out.
  • Chop the nuts coarsely, remove half and add to your medium bowl. Continue to chop the remaining nuts until almost ground. Feel free to use a food processor or chopper! Add to the medium bowl.
    Coarse and finely chopped nuts
  • Chop the oats coarsely, remove half and add to your medium bowl. Continue to chop the remaining until finely chopped. Add to the medium bowl.
    Dry ingredients
  • Add the spices, a pinch of salt, baking powder and soda to the medium bowl.
  • Add all but the reserved 2 tbs of flour to your medium bowl.
  • Chop ½ cup of your chocolate into small bits, continue chopping some of that until it’s finely chipped. Set aside.
    Coarse and finely chopped dark and milk chocolate
  • Add your reserved 2 tbsp flour to your cutting board and add all but about 10-15 candied cherries to it and lightly stir to separate them.
    Toss cherries with flour and chop
  • Chop the cherries carefully into halves and quarters or roughly. So they are large enough to tell they are cherries, but not whole.
  • Stir the brown butter Grape-Nuts into your large bowl with your wet ingredients.
  • Stir all the dry ingredients in your medium bowl together and pour into your large bowl of wet ingredients.
    Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients
  • Add in all the chocolate and your chopped cherries and stir gently to combine.
    All ingredients mix together
  • Drop by large rounded tablespoons onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. (Parchment is optional, I like to use it. If mixture is to dry, add an additional tbsp of milk. I find it takes less liquid when I cook these in the summer and humidity.
    Drop onto cookie sheet and bake
  • Chop the remaining cherries and use the pieces to decorate the tops of the cookies before baking.
  • Bake in a 350° oven for 15 minutes or until browned and spring back gently when pressed.


I’m not usually a fan of heavily processed and preserved food, but candied cherries are an exception. They really make these special! Imagine these with red and green candied cherries for Christmas! If you just can’t bring yourself to use these day-glow cuties, try dried cherries or diced dates instead.
I have been known to cheat and quicken up this recipe by using a package of chocolate chip cookie mix and adding in my cherries and fixings to take to a holiday party. 
I’ve also added chopped dates, add them if you have them! I often substitute some of the sugar in a recipe with finely minced dates. In this recipe, I’d substitute half of the brown sugar or white sugar with minced dates, or substitute about a quarter of the cherries with chopped dates.
You don’t have to chop half the chocolate, but the smaller bits really distribute throughout the cookie and help soften the Grape-Nuts and keep these from getting too dense.
TIP:  Make the dough and bake half, scoop out the rest into individual sized balls and freeze them on a tray. Once frozen, put them in a zip top bag or freezer container until ready to bake. I bake from frozen in a 350° oven for about fifteen to twenty minutes or until nicely browned and they spring back when pressed gently with your finger or a spoon.


Calories: 209kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 3gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 88mgPotassium: 108mgFiber: 2gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 195IUCalcium: 22mgIron: 3mg
Keyword baked breakfast, breakfast cookies, candied cherries, chocolate, Dove chocolate, dried cherries, Godiva, Godiva chips, Grape-nuts, homemade
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe. I love recreating recipes from my childhood! You seriously need to try Grape-nuts in brown butter and candied cherries in your chocolate chip cookies! If you do please rate my recipe! Do you have a chocolate chip cookie recipe from your past that you love? If so what’s your secret ingredient!?

So, what do you think? Please comment below!

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