In an effort to make a healthier oatmeal cookies, I remembered an old recipe that used unsweetened applesauce as a substitution for some of the butter, eggs and sugar. I searched in all my recipe binders, card files, and nooks & crannies where I keep recipes but I could not find it. So I decided to experiment and figure it out for myself!
I also wanted to jazz it up a bit. Raisins are usually found in an oatmeal cookie recipe but any dried fruit will do really. I thought of cherries. Cherries are good. I can get dried black cherries that are unsweetened and unsulfered at my local Trader Joe’s. Bingo!
My box of old-fashioned oats has a basic recipe that “leaves lots of room for creativity”according to the caption under the recipe title. So off I went, cutting in half the butter, eggs and sugar; and adding 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce in its place.
These cookies have a different texture than traditional ones, and the flavor is fabulous!
Oatmeal Cookies with Applesauce and Dried Cherries
1/4 lb (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temp
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1-1/2 cups 100% white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped dried dark sweet cherries (preferably unsweetened)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl with electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add applesauce and egg; mix until thoroughly incorporated. Add oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Mix on low speed until blended. Add cherries and nuts; mix on medium speed just until combined.
Drop by heaping spoonfuls (about 2 tablespoons’ worth) onto greased baking sheets (or use parchment or silicone baking mats) placing about 1-1/2 inches apart. Flatten the cookies slightly using the bottom of a small glass dish or drinking glass dipped in flour.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.
Makes about 36 cookies, depending on how heaping your spoons are!