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Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

Around this time of year, it's nice to have some classic recipes ready at all times. Neighbors stop by, in-laws drive over for the weekend, and the last place you want to be is at your recipe file, searching for an easy, delicious dessert. That's why classic cookie recipes are a must, and this one from El of the stunning dessert blog, Fresh New England, is a worthy candidate. These cookies are perfectly chewy with chunks of chocolate, soft cherries and sweet coconut. Seasonless, quick to throw together and an instant family favorite, this one should go to the front of your files.

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Ingredients

1 cup butter, room temperature

12 cup sugar

1/2 light brown sugar

1/2 cup coconut palm sugar (you can substitute brown sugar)

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cherry extract (you can substitute vanilla extract)

1 teaspoon Kirsch (cherry-flavored liqueur)

3 cups oats

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon teff flour (you can substitute all purpose flour)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground mace

1 cup dried, sweetened coconut

12 ounces good quality dark chocolate, chopped

3/4 cup dried cherries

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Marinate the dried cherries in the Kirsch while you make the recipe (or simply use warm water to soften the cherries)

3. Combine the sugars and butter in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.

4. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the milk, vanilla extract, cherry extract and eggs. Combine. Add the oatmeal and stir on low speed until combined.

5. Sift together the flours, baking soda and spices. Mix into oatmeal mixture. Stir in coconut, chocolate and cherries until evenly distributed. The batter will be very thick.

6. Form patties of about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough. Bake for approximately 10 to 12 minutes, depending upon your oven.

Makes about 30 2-inch cookies

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