I (Heart) Cookies: Oatmeal Super Cookies

Hope you had a great Valentine’s Day!

Mine started with a trip to the vet. Fortunately, it was just a folllow-up and we got the glad tidings that Kio is A-OK after 2 weeks of first not eating, then twice daily struggles to get him to take oral antibiotics. Cats and antibiotics are not a pretty picture. All the more reason Monday was a happy day when he got the all-clear.

A small thank you was in order for all the folks at the clinic who struggled with us to get him back on track: cookies that were good for their hearts and (we hope) touched their hearts. These oatmeal cookies have one-third less sugar than most oatmeal recipes, but you miss none of it because of all the dried fruit. I opted for a super antioxidant blend of blueberries, tart cherries, wolfberries, and cranberries for their colors, sweetness and heart-protective properties. In honor of V-Day, we went for the heart shape — what better way to say they come from our hearts, too! Even without the extra bling of dark chocolate drizzle, these cookies will satisfy any sweet tooth. Leave any guilt at the door!

OATMEAL SUPER COOKIES
(Makes 24-26 extra large heart-shaped cookies, or 4-4½ dozen regular cookies)

1cup (100g) unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup (65g) whole wheat flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
8oz/2 sticks (225g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1cup (190g) raw sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup (75g) dried blueberries
½ cup (70g) dried wolfberries (aka goji berries)
¼ cup (35g) dried cranberries, halved
¼ cup (35g) dried tart (montmorency) cherries, diced
3 cups (240g) rolled old-fashioned oats
(optional garnish) ½ cup/3.5oz (100g) dark chocolate chips (at least 60% cacao, if you want to keep it “heart-smart”, we recommend Ghiardelli)

In a medium bowl, combine flours, spices, salt and baking soda. Sift together.

In a large mixing bowl beat together butter and sugar until well blended. (You can use a hand-mixer or stand mixer for mixing until the point the dried fruit are added.) Add eggs and beat to combine. Add vanilla and mix in well.

Add flour mixture and beat on low to combine, then on medium for 2 minutes. Add all dried fruit and mix in with a wooden spoon. Add oats and stir well to combine oats and fruit evenly.

For heart-shaped cookies: Make 24-26 balls and place on plate. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow dough to chill enough to shape.

Preheat oven to 350F/180C.

After dough is chilled, work with 3-4 balls at a time to pat out a heart shape with your hands, and place on baking sheet. I could fit 12 cookies per sheet. Bake 15 minutes for soft, chewy cookie, or 17-18 minutes for a crisper cookie.
Immediately remove from sheet and cool on rack. Place baking sheet under rack, if chocolate drizzle will be added after cookies cool.

For optional garnish, place chocolate chips in microwave-proof bowl and microwave on medium heat for 20 seconds. Stir to melt and combine. If chocolate does not melt completely, microwave in 5 second increments, stirring after each session. Working quickly, use fork to drizzle chocolate on cookies. Let cool completely.

Share with your Valentine and everyone on your (Heart) List!