Almond-Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Cherries

June 24, 2013
1 Rating
Photo by Shauna Ahern
Author Notes

You can't go wrong with recipes on Food52. These recipes are crowd tested and come from the best home cooks I know. So, when I wanted to convert a recipe, I turned to Merrill's oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. They're fabulous.

Of course, I couldn't leave well enough alone. We didn't have chocolate chip cookies in the house, but we had dried cherries. When I started thinking about flavors that play well with cherries, I remembered almond and coconut. Why not use almond flour and coconut flour for the flavor? Well, playing with almond flour means cutting some of the butter in the recipe, since almond flour contains fat as well as protein. It also means playing with the salt, since the bittersweet flavor of the chocolate probably needs more salt than the sweetness of cherries requires.

So, yes, there's an easy way to make Merrill's cookies gluten-free: use 180 grams of gluten-free flour for her AP flour. But I wanted these cookies to be mine, based on the flavors of our home and what we had in the cupboards. They're crispier than Merrill's original seem to be. They're full of bigger flavors and the oats play a more minor role. All I know is that a big plate of these disappeared as soon as some of our daughter's friends came over for a play date. They were a hit.

Kitchen notes:
We use almond flour that has been finely ground. Most of the time, at the store,  you'll find almond meal. Simply grind it up finer in your blender before baking. 

Oats themselves do not contain gluten. But in the way they are grown, transported, and processed, they are contaminated with gluten. The only way to serve oats to someone with celiac is by purchasing certified gluten-free oats.  —glutenfreegirl

  • Makes 18 cookies
  • 160 grams almond flour (see kitchen note above)
  • 20 grams coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 180 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 200 grams (1 cup) brown sugar
  • 150 grams (1/2 cup) white sugar (we prefer the taste of unbleached sugar)
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 250 grams (2 1/2 cups) certified gluten-free oats (see kitchen note above)
  • 250 grams dried cherries (make sure they're gluten-free)
In This Recipe
  1. Preparing to bake: Heat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. Combining the dry ingredients: Whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a large bowl. Set aside. 
  3. Creaming the butter and sugars: Put the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. (You can do this by hand as well.) Using the paddle attachment, whip the butter on the lowest setting of the stand mixer until it is fluffy. Add the brown and white sugars and mix until they are thoroughly combined with the butter. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. With the mixer running again, add the eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. Finishing the dough: With the mixer running at the lowest setting, add the dry ingredients. When the flours have disappeared into the dough, add the oats and dried cherries. The dough should form a ball around the paddle of the mixer. Take off the paddle attachment and scrape the dough off it and into the bowl. 
  5. Baking the cookies: Grab a ball of dough and weigh it. You want a 60-gram ball. If you have too much dough, take some off. If you have too little, add some. After weighing a couple of balls of dough, your instincts will kick in and you won't need to weigh them any longer. Line up 6 balls of dough in 2 evenly spaced rows on the baking sheet. Refrigerate the rest of the dough while you are baking. 
  6. Bake the cookies for 8 minutes. At that point, flatten the balls of dough a bit with the back of a spatula. Turn the baking sheet halfway in the oven. Bake the cookies until the edges are crisping, the top is browning and the center of the cookie is still a bit soft, about another 8 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven. 
  7. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes on the sheet try then move them to a cooling rack. Bake the remaining cookies the same way. 

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Shauna writes about food. Danny cooks it. We grow excited every Saturday morning to go to the farmers' market. This time of year, a Billy Allstot tomato is enough to make us look like goons at the stand, jumping up and down with excitement. We will eat one slice with sea salt, standing over the sink. Another goes to our baby daughter. The rest might go into the smoker to make smoked tomato salsa, or thrown together with watermelon and good olive oil for a watermelon gazpacho, or stacked with smoked salmon and drizzled with horseradish sour cream. Every day is new. I have no idea what we're having for dinner tonight. But I'm sure interested to find out.