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!
Chilling the dough after mixing makes for thicker cookies. Not necessary.15mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
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!
1stickbutterSimmerred in a skillet until browned. I use salted.
2eggsLightly beaten in large bowl
2tbspmilkHalf & half or milk
¼tsplemon juice(This allegedly helps poof them up and make them chewy)
¼cupbutter flavored CriscoWhile I prefer Butter-flavored Crisco, you can use more butter instead, but not melted or browned.
1¼cupchocolate chips or chunksI 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.
¾cuppecansWalnuts or pecans, I used pecans.
¾cupoatsChopped- some fine, some coarse.
½cupbrown sugarIf you are NOT adding cherries, add 2 tbsp additional brown sugar.
2tbspsugarIf you are NOT adding cherries, increase sugar to 1/4
⅔cupGrape-Nuts cerealShhh, 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.
1½cupflourI use half AP and half white whole wheat, or whatever I have.
2tbspflourUsed when chopping the cherries.
½tspbaking powderIf you like flatter cookies, only use ¼ tsp
⅛tspnutmegJust a few fresh gratings or a pinch of nutmeg
8ozcandied cherriesNot 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 in all the chocolate and your chopped cherries and stir gently to combine.
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.
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.