Cherry Chipotle Oatmeal Cookies

I developed this recipe over the last couple of years based on my absolute favorite oatmeal raisin cookie recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, In the Sweet Kitchen : The Definitive Guide to the Baker’s Pantry by Regan Daley. This author’s oatmeal raisin cookie becomes the base for an ice cream sandwich in the end, but the cookies themselves are fabulous on their own.

I change up the raisins for the sweet-tart taste of dried cherries, also as a nod to one of our great Michigan towns, Traverse City, which is known for its great cherries (…and wine!). I also love a sweet and spicy contrast so I experimented with adding a bit over ground chipotle chili powder to give them a kick. For non-adventurous types, and when serving to kids, feel free to leave out the chipotle powder and you’ll still have a great cookie.

These cookies have a rich caramel flavor which contrasts nicely with the tart cherries and spicy chili powder. They have a golden brown crisp exterior and soft chewy interior. They also freeze very well for several months.

Cherry Chipotle Oatmeal Cookies

Inspired by In the Sweet Kitchen by Regan Daley

  • 1 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 c. tightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tblsp. honey
  • 1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. ground chipotle chili powder (or, to taste)
  • 3 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 2 c. dried cherries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat liners, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the butter and both sugars. Mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and honey and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Add flour mixture to the butter mixture and fold in until the dry ingredients are well incorporated. Stir in the oats and cherries. Drop the batter by heaping tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets.

Bake, one sheet at a time, in the center of the oven for 15 to 18 minutes, rotate halfway through baking time. The cookies are done when they are deep golden brown and set around the edges but still puffy and soft in the center. Cool the cookies for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Makes about 4 dozen

The “New and Improved”
Everyday Foodie Blog

The Everyday Foodie blog has finally made the switch from Blogger to a WordPress powered site with it’s very own custom website address (everydayfoodieblog.com).

Hopefully, you’ll find the new site a bit cleaner and more organized. I’ve added a ‘print friendly version’ link to recipes posts under the recipe title. I’ve also attempted to make Everyday Foodie more social with social icons at the top of the homepage to make it easier to connect and stay up-to-date with the latest posts. In case you missed it, we’re also now on Facebook in addition to Twitter.

If you subscribe to updates via RSS feed you shouldn’t have to change any settings, I’ve re-routed things so they should work without you having to make any changes. However, sometimes their are hiccups in the internet world so if you notice that you’re missing out on new posts for some reason just click the RSS icon on the new website and re-subscribe.

Take a minute to look around. I hope you enjoy the new digs! Thanks for stopping by!

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

I’m surprised to say that I went on a bit of a baking kick this past weekend. Okay, I’m not really that surprised given my strong affinity for anything sweet, but with the holidays you would have thought I’d gotten my fill.

I made one of my favorite snack recipes, Pumpkin Crunch. It’s sort of a pumpkin seed granola with dried fruit and spices. I use dried cherries in this recipe in place of the cranberries. The house smells fabulous when the pepitas are roasting in the oven!

On Sunday I realized that I’d better make use of the last two very ripe bananas sitting on my counter or freeze them for later. I remembered seeing a recipe for Peanut Butter Banana Bread in my October issue of Cooking Light magazine and I thought this would be a great way to finish off the last of my bananas.

I made some changes based on what I had available in the house. Their recipe called for 1 1/2 cups of mashed banana, but I only had enough to fill one cup so I added 4 oz. of applesauce to keep it moist. I also used low-fat vanilla yogurt in place of the plain yogurt so the batter was likely a bit sweeter. I also left out the ground flax seed and peanuts chopped peanuts because I enjoy a soft texture without the added crunch in quick breads. I only keep skim milk on hand so I used that instead of the 1% called for in the glaze and it worked just fine.

Even with less mashed banana the bread had good strong banana flavor and moistness (I think the applesauce helped there). The peanut butter flavor really came through in the glaze and really put this one over the top. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

Here’s my version of the recipe:

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Adapted from Cooking Light

Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

Bread:

  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana
  • 4oz. applesauce
  • 1/3 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 6.75 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Cooking spray

Glaze:

  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon skim milk
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter

1. Preheat oven to 350°. 2. Combine banana through eggs in a large bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed. Add both sugars and beat until blended. 3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through allspice) in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to banana mixture and beat just until blended. Pour batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan; cool. 4. To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk, and 1 tablespoon peanut butter in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle glaze over bread.