I received this an email from ATK. I substituted dried cranraisins for the dried cherries, semi-sweet chocolate chips for bittersweet chocolate and used my hand mixer. Dried cranberries may also be used instead of the cherries. Quick oats may be used instead but will yield a cookie with slightly less chewiness. These cookies will keep for 4 to 5 days stored in airtight container or zipper-lock bag, but they will lose their crisp exterior and become uniformly chewy after a day or so. I only baked one cookie tray at a time. These were very good. I froze them in individual bags for a sweet treat.
I use butter and eggs right out of the refrigerator so the dough stays cool and the cookies maintain their thickness during baking; I also use ungreased cookie sheets. To keep the cookies soft and chewy, store them in an airtight container along with a slice of bread.
I was served this cookie at a restaurant in Springfield, MO during a business conference. Went home and made up this recipe which has been a hit at any church gathering when I take them...better than the one I had at the conference.
I modified Beatrice's Excellent Oatmeal cookies very slightly. I came up with something that my boyfriend went CRAZY over! I've never seen him enjoy cookies to that extent! He said I blew his mother's recipe away.