oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies

oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies with cherries and pecans

there is nothing quite like the smell of cookies baking in the oven. i can't think of any other food whose smell invokes such strong memories of my childhood. i grew up in one of those american homes where my mother always had some buttery baked treat for us to eat; usually in the form of banana bread or a cookie.
besides being the designated cheese grater in the kitchen my mom also trusted me to be her assistant when it was time to bake cookies. it wasn't quite the 1950's image of mother and daughter baking in the kitchen wearing matching aprons (though there is nothing wrong with that and the thought of matching anthropologie aprons was one reason i did a little dance when i found out we were having a girl) but those moments with my mom began something that i hope to recreate someday.
i'm quite certain that the first time i was left alone in the kitchen my friends and i made a huge floury mess chocolate chip cookies from the recipe on the back of the tollhouse chocolate morsel bag. it's been a long time since i've baked a cookie and i've come a long way from the tollhouse recipe; however, i've been so caught up in cupcakes and mousses and pies and macaron that i forgot just how delicious a simple cookie can be. with that in mind and the memory of a smell that my swiss kitchen had not yet been filled with i made a suped up version of a classic oatmeal raisin, an oatmeal chocolate chunk cookie with dried cherries and pecans.

oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies
makes 16

1 1/4 c. flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
1 c. pecans, chopped
1 c. cherries, chopped
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 c. packed dark brown sugar
1/4 c. honey
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

preheat oven to 350°F. line baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper. in a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside. in another bowl combine the oats, pecans, dried cherries and chocolate. in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. add the egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. turn the mixer to low, and add the flour mixture to the bowl. stir until just combined. finally mix in the oats, nuts, fruit and chocolate. spoon dough onto prepared cookie sheets and bake 18 minutes or until they are uniformly golden. remove from oven and transfer to wire rack to cool.