These buttery fruity chocolate chip cookies are inspired by my Grans Christmas Fruit Cookies. Her cookies had lots of red and green candied cherries, and candied fruitcake mix added to chocolate chip cookie dough. When I made them with her and she wasn't looking, I'd pick the citrus peel and ginger and add more cherries. I bet she knew! I've added brown butter, oatmeal and cereal to make these extra "healthy"...well *healthier! For a super fast version, use a package of chocolate chip cookie mix and add in the cherries, dates/candied fruit and cereal. This makes a large batch of nearly 30 cookies. I recommend freezing half to bake later! *As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
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 much, much quicker!
1stickbutterSimmerred in a skillet until browned. I use salted.
⅛tspnutmegJust a few fresh gratings or a pinch of nutmeg
¼tspcinnamonI like Enspice Sri Lankan Cinnamon. Can be omitted.
8ozcandied cherriesFor holiday cookies, get one 8 oz container of red, and an 8oz container of green. Not maraschino, but candied cherries like these found in the baking aisle. *You can also add some fruitcake mix like this. *If you love cherries, use about 10-12 oz chopped.
10datesPits removed, roughly chopped.
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, milk, and vanilla together.
Add in lemon juice, both sugars and butter flavored Crisco. Stir and mix with 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, it will speed this up a lot! Add to the medium bowl.
Chop the oats coarsely, remove half and add to your medium bowl. Again, a food processer will speed this up a lot! Continue to chop the remaining until finely chopped, almost like a course flour. Add to the medium bowl.
Add all but the reserved 2 tbsp. of flour to your medium bowl.
Add spices, a pinch of salt, baking powder and soda to the medium bowl.
Add your reserved 2 tbsp. flour to your cutting board and add all but about 15 assorted candied cherries to it and lightly stir to separate them. (Set aside those extra cherries to decorate the tops of the cookies.)
Chop the cherries carefully into halves or quarters and gently stir them into the dry ingredients.
Chop the dates roughly so you have some large and some small pieces. If they get sticky, add a sprinkle of flour. Stir the dates into the dry ingredients.
Set aside about half of the chocolate chips, whole. Chop the remaining chocolate into small bits, continue chopping some, to that you have a mix of small bits and finely chopped. Set aside. You'll have some that will melt into the dough, some whole chips and some small chips/chunks of chocolate throughout.
Stir the brown butter Grape-Nuts mixture into your large bowl with your wet ingredients.
Stir all the dry ingredients into your large bowl of wet ingredients.
Add in all the chocolate and stir gently to combine.
Chop the remaining cherries and use the pieces to decorate the tops of the cookies before baking.
Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto the cookie sheet and roll into balls. Add a few cherries to the top to decorate and press down lightly to flatten to a cookie shape, and to adhere the cherries to the tops.
Bake in a 350° oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly 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. I have been known to cheat and quicken up this recipe by using a package of chocolate chip cookie mix and just adding in my cherries, dates and cereal.You don’t have to chop half the chocolate, but the smaller bits really distribute throughout the cookie, help soften the Grape-Nuts and keep these from getting too dense.Join in the fun for the holidays, 2020 and enter a recipe into my First Annual Holiday Virtual Cookie Swap Contest on Facebook!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 twenty minutes or until nicely browned and they spring back when pressed gently with your finger or a spoon.*I am not a nutritionist, but these cookies do have fiber and some nutrients that regular chocolate chip cookies don't usually have. I have used WordPress Recipe Maker to calculate the nutritional value.