A few weeks ago Nate and I were in Door County, Wisconsin celebrating the marriage of two of our friends. Plagued with jetlag on the morning of the wedding and up hours before anyone else we took the opportunity to explore Door County. I had never been to Wisconsin and was pleasantly surprised. We were right on the lake, the weather was perfect, and the people were so friendly. Really friendly. Like we had a friend running late for the wedding who had to change in a gas station, and the lady running the station offered to iron his shirt friendly. Early that morning we drove past cherry orchard after cherry orchard. Sour cherries, often Montmorency, grow in these parts.
Since we were up early we got the first sour cherry pie out of the oven at a local pie shop, and had it for breakfast!
I couldn't really bring baskets of sour cherries back to London, so I brought back the dried version instead. Can't really make a delicious pie with dried fruit (unless its mincemeat pie), so I used the dried sour cherries to make one of my favorite cookie recipes - Oatmeal cookies with sour cherries and chocolate covered toffee bits.
OATMEAL COOKIES + SOUR CHERRIES & TOFFEE
- 1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 c butter, room temp
- 3/4 c sugar
- 3/4 c brown sugar
- 1 egg, room temp
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 c rolled oats
- 1 c dried sour cherries, roughly chopped
- 1 c crushed chocolate covered toffee bars like Skor or Daim (about five 28g bars)
Put flour, baking soda, and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. Beat butter with both sugars till light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract. Fold in dry ingredients. Fold in oats, chopped cherries and toffee bits. Chill dough for two hours. Use a small ice cream scoop to divide dough into balls. Bake for 8-10 minutes in a 350F oven. Do not overbake - these are good a little bit underdone. Makes about 36 small cookies.
Today in London it seems as fall has already arrived with cool temps, wind and rain. A busy summer with finishing my dissertation and travel has also come to end. To ease the changing of seasons I'm baking cookies and reading fiction.
There are certain books that from the first few sentences you know you'll love. You rush to get through them because you can't wait to see how it turns out. Then there are those books that can be a struggle, and each sentence read is forgotten and the words fail to create a picture in your head. Every once in a while you come across a book that is so great you're almost part of the story, dreading the end. You find yourself rereading sentences as you go along, partially to extend the time you get to spend with the book and partially to make sure you haven't missed a single thing the author has written. I'm in the middle of one of those kinds right now...a book about a family breeding dogs on a remote farm in Wisconsin. Might not sound like much but I'm totally engrossed with the story.