Oatmeal Cookies with Cherries and Ginger

published Nov 28, 2022
Oatmeal Cookies with Cherries and Ginger Recipe

Chewy oatmeal raisin, with a festive twist: tart cherries in lieu of raisins paired with a zingy and crystalized ginger for a slightly sweet bite.

Makes24 (3-inch) cookies

Prep15 minutes

Cook11 minutes to 12 minutes

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oatmeal cookies on platter on wavy linen
Credit: Photo: Christopher Testani; Food Styling; Jesse Szewczyk; Prop Styling: Sarah Smart

This recipe is a part of Secret Family Cookies — a dozen recipes from our favorite bakers, inspired by the people who make them feel at home. Get all the amazing cookies here.

There’s the family you’re born into and there’s the family you choose. Chosen family can be close friends who feel like family, but they can also be people connected by a shared and treasured experience that creates a lifelong bond — like the people my family met at Cobb’s Camp in Maine.

Each summer, the same families return to this rustic fishing-turned-family camp. My parents, sister, and I have been spending a week there since I was four years old. But we’re no longer the “kids” — the next generation has taken our place ringing the heavy, old-fashioned dinner bell at 6 p.m. sharp, standing at the kitchen’s screen door, hungrily eyeing the cookies cooling on the table.

Credit: Photo: Christopher Testani; Food Styling; Jesse Szewczyk; Prop Styling: Sarah Smart

Betty Cobb ran the kitchen when I was a child, and we all knew that fresh cookies were made daily. Her cookies — be it oatmeal raisin, gingersnap, or chocolate chip — are something that any frequent camp guest will happily expound upon, along with their love for Betty. We often reminisce about unwrapping them by the pond after picnic lunches or handing them out to hikers on the Appalachian trail as we made a comparatively very short trek to reach the Kennebec River.

The camp is situated around Pierce Pond, which has remained relatively unchanged since I was a small child. Each time we return to this picturesque, tree-filled backdrop, we’re the ones that have changed. The unique experience of this place, the kind people who visit, and the warmth of the family that runs it has created a community and family — one where we cherish these sweet memories shared only with each other.

Betty’s oatmeal cookies are still being made today by her niece Kristen, who now runs the kitchen. The recipe from her notebook is similar to Quaker Oats’ Best Oatmeal Cookies and has gentle hints of cinnamon and vanilla. To give the cookie a holiday spin, I took Betty’s base recipe and swapped in tart cherries for the raisins and added some chopped crystalized ginger for a little sparkle and a zingy, slightly sweet bite.

Oatmeal Cookies with Cherries and Ginger Recipe

Chewy oatmeal raisin, with a festive twist: tart cherries in lieu of raisins paired with a zingy and crystalized ginger for a slightly sweet bite.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 11 minutes to 12 minutes

Makes 24 (3-inch) cookies

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons

    (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 1/2 cup

    dried tart cherries (about 2 1/2 ounces)

  • 1/4 cup

    crystalized ginger

  • 3/4 cup

    packed light brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 1 1/2 cups

    old-fashioned rolled oats

  • 1 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Place 1 stick unsalted butter in a large bowl. Place 2 large eggs on the counter. Let both sit at room temperature until the butter is very soft and a finger easily pushes into it but it still has some shape. Meanwhile, coarsely chop 1/2 cup dried tart cherries and pull them apart if they are sticking together. Finely chop 1/4 cup crystalized ginger.

  2. Add 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar to the bowl of butter. Press and smash together with a flexible spatula until creamy looking with no visible butter streaks, 2 to 3 minutes.

  3. Add the eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk until smooth and silky. Add 1 teaspoon baking soda and whisk until combined.

  4. Add 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats, 1 cup all-purpose flour, and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Mix with the spatula until just combined and no visible flour remains, scraping anything on the sides of the bowl into the mixture.

  5. Add the cherries and ginger and stir until evenly distributed. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 350ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  6. Scoop out the dough into 24 (scant 2 tablespoon) portions, shaping them lightly with your hands or another spoon into a rough 2-inch mound. Place on the baking sheets, spacing them at least 2 inches apart, 12 per baking sheet.

  7. Bake for 6 minutes. Rotate the sheets between racks and from front to back. Bake until the edges start to brown but the center is soft, 5 to 6 minutes more.

  8. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 3 minutes. Slide a thin spatula under each cookie and transfer to wire racks; let cool completely. Alternatively, let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheets—they will continue to cook a little more if you do.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The dough calls can be frozen solid on a baking sheet and stored in a zip top bag in the freezer for up to 2 months. Bake from frozen, adding 2 to 3 minutes to the bake time as needed after the baking sheets are rotated.

Storage: Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.