Oatmeal cookies have always held a special place in my heart. I remember when I was young, my family used to go to the local farmer’s market on Saturday mornings to get fresh picked sweet corn and other produce. I would always beg to get the flavored honey sticks and a bag of oatmeal raisin cookies from the bakery vendor. This made waking up early on a day I didn’t have school worth it. As an adult, I still love oatmeal raisin cookies but I also know how unhealthy they can be. I already have a skinny recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies so I was looking for a different type of oatmeal based cookie to try.
These chocolate-cherry oatmeal cookies are not only a tasty, healthier alternative but they also pack three essential foods that can help save your heart from disease. Heart disease runs in my family on both sides and so it is imperative that I take the issue seriously. Any foods that can help decrease my chances of heart disease are something I am willing to try. Put them into cookie form and then how can I resist. Obviously I am not saying you need to eat only these cookies and you will stave off heart disease, but if you want a sensible splurge these are a wise option.
The three main ingredients in these cookies (oatmeal, cherries, and dark chocolate) each have properties that promote heart health. Oatmeal helps keep you feeling full longer, stabilizes blood sugar levels, and lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol. By replacing the majority of flour in this recipe with oats increases the potential heart healthy benefits. Cherries, whether fresh or dried, are packed with antioxidants called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are responsible for protecting blood vessels. Lastly, is flavanol-rich dark chocolate, which provides antioxidant qualities along with the ability to lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the brain and heart, and decrease the stickiness of platelets that cause clots.
With all of the heart healthy benefits these cookies provide one would assume they do not taste very good but in fact they are spectacular. Chewy and full of flavor, you will forget these cookies are a skinny option compared to your favorite childhood oatmeal raisin cookie!
Skinny Chocolate-Cherry Oatmeal Cookies
- 1.5 oz. All-Purpose Flour
- 1.5 oz. Whole-Wheat Flour
- 1 ½ cups Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
- 1 tsp. Baking Soda
- ½ tsp. Salt
- 6 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
- ¾ cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
- ¾ cup Dried Cherries
- 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 1 Egg; lightly beaten
- 3 oz. Dark Chocolate Baking Chips (such as Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips)
- Cooking Spray
- Preheat oven to 350°. Coat baking sheets with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Add flours, oats, baking soda, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl. Stir with a whisk until combined. Set aside.
- In a microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, approximately 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar to the melted butter and stir until smooth. Add the sugar mixture to the flour mixture. Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the mixture on medium speed until well blended. Add the vanilla and egg, beating until combined. Fold in the cherries and chocolate.
- Drop cookie dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets for 3 minutes or until almost firm. Remove cookies from the cookie sheets and allow to cool completely on wire racks.
Weight Watchers: 4 Smart Points, 2 Points Plus, or 2 Traditional Points
RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: MARCIE DIXON
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS