Umpqua Valley Cookies

These are the cookies I took to our first Think Local meeting at Umpqua CDC. I tried to use as many local ingredients as possible!

1 cup unsalted Umpqua Dairy Butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 farm-fresh local eggs
2 teaspoons real vanilla
2 cups freshly-ground Oregon-grown soft white wheat flour (you can substitute all-purpose flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (I like Rumford)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 cup local walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup local pitted, dried cherries (a combination of tart and sweet cherries works well or you can use dried cranberries)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cream the butter and sugars together. Add the vanilla and eggs and blend well. Stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and sea salt. Mix dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Stir in the oats, walnuts and cherries.

Drop by spoonfuls (or use a small metal cookie scoop) onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 1 minute on cookie sheet then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Do-ahead tip. You can freeze the scooped cookie dough balls on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet, then place in plastic bags. Bake straight from the freezer, but allow an extra 2 or 3 minutes baking time.

Makes 4 to 6 dozen depending on size and how much cookie dough you eat!

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