I find that the more I watch television, the more I continue to watch television. Once I start, I can't quite bring myself to stop. The advertisements for the next episode or a new show draw me in, whether I like it to or not.
I lived without a television for many years. Sure, I would keep up with a few of my tried and true shows through the internet, but I never went out of my way to find new shows or, god forbid, watch reality tv just for the sake of it. Going for walks, reading books, or just sitting in silence replaced the background noise of the glowing screen. I never missed the television—when you don't have one you simply find other (and often more productive) ways to spend your time.
Lately, my eyes have been glued to the screen. I find myself flipping through the channels looking for something, anything, to watch. It doesn't even have to be good, quality television. Bad TV and I have become close friends, whether I like to admit it or not. This weekend I saw a promo for the next episode of The Bachelor and actually tuned in. I've never watched an episode in my life! While I know many of you know and love it (we all have our guilty pleasures, don't we?), it is something that has never interested me. Since when have I become so lazy I'm willing to watch anything as long as it thinks for me? I feel a bit of shame.
But today, I shut off the television. I turned down the radio. Reveling in the silence of a snowy winter afternoon, I baked these cookies. And it felt good.
These cherry chocolate chunk oatmeal cookies have the qualities of a classic oatmeal cookie. Crispy at the edges and thick and chewy in the center, these cookies combine the best in cookie textures. The tart cherries and bittersweet chocolate contrast well against the lightly sweetened dough. These cookies are perfect for dunking in a glass of milk or curing the midnight munchies.
Cherry Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies
Adapted from The Art & Soul of Baking
Yields 30 cookies
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until smooth and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and blend together.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to the butter mixture all at once and mix until the flour is just incorporated. Add the oats, dried cherries, and chocolate chunks and gently stir with a wooden spoon until evenly mixed.
Using a small ice cream scoop or spoon, place cookie dough on a baking sheet, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake for 13 to 16 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown at the edges and pale in the center. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature.