It was my 5-year college reunion this past weekend...yeah, holy mackerel we're getting old!
Anyway, my alma mater has a very special place in my heart because #1, it's my first experience living outside of California (huge culture shock), #2, it's where I bought my very first pea coat and wool sweater (my freshman year roommate from Minnesota had to take me shopping for this), and most importantly -- #3, it's where AC and I first met!
Given all those life-changing events, I obviously owed it to Northwestern to show up for my 5-year reunion. That, and the fact that most of AC's friends were still out in Chicago was enough reason to hop on a plane and make the trek out to 40-something degree weather.
Though it was cold and raining (wouldn't be Chicago if it wasn't!), I had sooo much fun pretending to be 18 -- errrr, 21 -- all over again. AC and I walked around campus together, hung out with close friends, and of course for old times sake, drank like we were underage rockstars again ;)
We also brought these incredible, delicious cookies for our lovely Chicago friends who hosted us that weekend. Extremely chewy, buttery and rich -- these cookies remind me of those thin, flat lacey cookies that are sold at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. Only, these are much much better.
I think it's the generous bits of toffee which melt and then "harden" into a wonderful chewiness that make this cookie so addicting. Or, maybe it's the slight sourness that comes from the dried cherries that I really like. Or the subtle addition of oatmeal that makes for a great texture. I can't really place my finger on it, but I do love this cookie... :)
Our friends seemed to also love this cookie as well. The husband of one of them told us that their allotment was almost gone the following day. Granted, she's pregnant -- but still :D
Oatmeal Toffee Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup dried cherries
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup toffee pieces
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour and baking soda, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice during mixing. Add egg, and mix on high speed to combine. Add vanilla extract; mix to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the sifted flour a bit at a time on a low speed until well combined. Add oatmeal, cherries, chocolate, and toffee pieces; mix to combine.
Divide dough into three equal portions, and roll into logs using plastic wrap, approximately 1 1/2 inches in diameter. To bake, cut logs into 1/2-inch pieces. Bake on parchment-lined baking sheets, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and transfer to a baking rack to cool.