Cherry-Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies + Giveaway!

It's turning out to be one of those lazy baking weeks, where I just don't feel like going through the motions of taking out the butter/eggs to warm to room temperature, mis-en-placing the ingredients...etc., and I definitely don't feel like washing dishes! Perhaps it's because I spent an excessive amount of hours in the kitchen last week making these... is it strange for a baker to get tired of looking at eggs, butter, flour, sugar...?

So, please forgive me if these cookies are nothing new or fancy to you - I was in the mood for some comfort/snacky goods that weren't too sweet.  These definitely hit the spot - chewy dried cherries and oats on the inside, light and crispy on the outside.  I'm usually not a huge fan of cherry-flavored foods (but I love fresh cherries!) - however, the dried Bing cherries that I found at Trader Joe's are delicious and juicy and does not have any hint of that artificial cherry flavor I dislike so much.  The tartness of the cherries balances out the sweetness of the chocolate chips really well. Oftentimes, I find chocolate chips to be over-powering in cookie recipes like these, but in this one the chocolate simply complements and allows the cherries to be the star of the show.

The best part of this cookie for me, is that it's not too sweet.  As much as I love sweets, there's something about a pastry that you can enjoy with a glass of milk or cup of coffee/tea versus the pastry (if you can call it that) that makes you feel like your teeth are rotting the second you bite into them - and no matter how much milk or coffee you drink, that cavity-creating sweetness won't go away unless you gargle with some salt water.

Ok, maybe that's a bit dramatic, but seriously, I do have to watch my sugar intake since diabetes runs in both sides of my family. oh the irony! That's another post in itself, which we'll save for another day.  For now, let's leave it at the fact that these cookies may have become a new favorite!

Now, let's get on to the giveaway - something stylish for you to hold your favorite cookies or snacks! Check it out below!

Cherry-Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
from Bon Appetit Desserts

[Print Recipe]

Makes about 2 dozen

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup sugar
½ cup (packed) dark brown sugar (I used light brown sugar)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup dried tart cherries
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted

Prehat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift flour, baking soda, and salt into medium bowl.   Using mixer, with paddle attachment, beat butter and both sugars in bowl until well blended.  Mix in egg and both extracts.  Beat in flour mixture.  Stir in oats, chocolate chips, cherries and almonds.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls (or cookie dough scoop) onto prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart.  Bake cookies for 12 minutes.  Rotate sheet and continue to bake cookies until golden, about 6 minutes more.  Cool cookies on sheets (cookies will firm as they cool).  Cookies can be made 1 week ahead and stored in airtight container at room temperature.

{Please visit Liz's Thirty-One Gifts}
Today's giveaway is sponsored by my friend, Liz.  I "met" Liz back in the day through the blogging site, Xanga - we've actually never met in real life but I consider her a friend because we used to share our lives through our personal blogs and provided positive feedback and encouragement to one another.  When the Xanga phase passed, we reconnected through good ol' Facebook.  Recently, she shared this site/company with me called, Thirty-One.  The company has an amazing line of stylish products that are also functional and affordable.  Their mission is to "celebrate, encourage and reward" women through offering these products as well as other opportunities.  Please visit the link above to learn more about Thirty-One and their products.    

Win a thermal lunch tote from Liz's Thirty-One Gifts!

As a consultant for Thirty-One, Liz is giving away a thermal lunch tote (in the pattern you see here) to one lucky winner! 

To enter, please do the following: 

1.) Leave a comment below answering the question: What is your favorite lunchtime snack/dessert? 

2.) For extra entries, "Like" Liz's 31 Gifts on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter , or Subscribe to the sweets by sillianah feed. You will receive an entry for each "like"/follow/subscribe! Please let me know in the comments if you have done this so I can count your entries (I will check w/ Liz about her "likes")!   

Enter by 12am EST, Wednesday, February 23rd - please don't forget to leave a link to your blog or email so I can contact you! Thanks! ONE winner* will be drawn using the Random Integer Generator and announced on this post, which will be updated next Wednesday, 2/23.  

* Sorry, this giveaway is only open to U.S. residents.  Thanks for understanding. 

:: UPDATE:: And the winner is... Nicki S.! ::

[I actually purchased this tote for myself recently and it is really cute and practical as well - an idea Liz shared with me was to bring your own snacks to the movie theater in this bag - no one would think anything of it since it looks like a stylish handbag! But for those who bring lunch to work, this would be the ideal size for your tupperware, a bottle of water, snacks, etc.]