Oatmeal Cookies with Whiskey-Soaked Cherries

Soft, chewy oatmeal cookies studded with chocolate chips and dried cherries re-plumped with whiskey… what more is there to say?!

These are, hands down, my new favorite cookies. I generally hate whiskey (it tastes like pencils), but butter and brown sugar mellow out the flavor, leaving these cookies with a complex, butterscotch-like flavor that’s perfectly balanced by sour cherries and sweet chocolate. A touch of coconut* helps keep them soft, and I think they have an even better flavor the next day, after the flavors have had a chance to meld.

Unfortunately, my dogs seemed to agree. I originally made these late Wednesday night. I was so excited to share them with you for Saint Patrick’s Day, but I was too tired to take photos. So I made sure we saved most of them (believe me, it wasn’t easy!), planning to photograph them after work the next day. Imagine my surprise when Shawn sent me a text saying that not only had my tiny little the dogs managed to get the tupperware container of them off the kitchen counter, but that they had eaten every last crumb? I was crushed. (Thankfully, my dogs have stomachs of steel and are perfectly fine. Chocolate, booze and all.)

I didn’t have time to make another batch before the holiday, but it doesn’t matter. These cookies are great any time of year. This time, I know better than to leave them on the counter….

*It really is a tiny bit a coconut, and they don’t have a discernable coconut flavor at all. If you really hate the stuff though, or if you’re allergic, you can feel free to leave it out. The cookies just might not be as chewy the next day.

Oatmeal Cookies with Whiskey-Soaked Cherries
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 24
  • ½ cup Dried Cherries, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup Whiskey
  • 1 stick unsalted Butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • ¼ cup White Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ¾ cups Flour
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1-1/2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
  • ¼ cup Chocolate Chips
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Coconut
  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F.
  2. Combine the cherries and whiskey in a measuring cup or small bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Sift together that flour, salt and baking soda, then stir into the butter mixture until incorporated. Mix in the oats.
  4. Drain the cherries. Stir the cherries, chocolate chips, and coconut into the dough.
  5. Line two baking sheets with a silicon mat or parchment paper. Drop the cookie dough onto the sheets by the tablespoonful, leaving about an inch in between each cookie.
  6. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until the centers are set and the edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 5 minutes before removing the cookies from the baking sheets.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 100 Fat: 5 Carbohydrates: 14 Fiber: 0 Protein: 1



  1. You will love Eat, Write, Retreat. I won a trip to Washington DC and the conference last May. Of all the conferences I have been to it was the best!!! As for the cookies I couldn’t eat just one!

  2. Yum- your cookies sound wonderful!
    I voted for you and it looks like you are doing great in the competition.
    Good luck!

    • Yikes! Thanks for letting me know – I must have been in a rush since i was so excited to post them. I’ll fix the recipe right now.

  3. My dog is puny and has eaten chocolate many a time by accident…and she’s lived to eat more chocolate! I guess that means these were super tasty! A definite need to try. I’ve been craving cookies lately in a serious way.

  4. I was just wondering do these cookies have any alcohol content? Or does the baking/microwaving cause the alcohol to evaporate? It doesn’t bother me but my sister doesn’t drink. Just wanted to check. Thanks.

    • I really can’t say for sure… from what I’ve read, there’s no real way to completely eliminate the alcohol (even nonalcoholic beer/wine has trace amounts). I guess some people who abstain for religious reasons are ok with it if it’s been cooked, but others aren’t. It depends on why your sister doesn’t drink and how strict she is with it.

      If there is still alcohol in these, it would there is any in these, it would be a very small amount (only about a tablespoon actually soaks into the cherries, then that gets divided between all the cookies… and then is cooked) but to be on the safe side, I’d say unless she says they’re ok, I’d pass. Of course, even without the whiskey it’s still a great cookie recipe! Just soak the cherries in water to plump them up instead. Sorry I couldn’t give you a better answer.

      • Okay, thank you very much. I think I will ask her what she thinks before I make them and then I will make hers with water and mine with whiskey haha.

        I think in the paste she has made other recipes with alcohol involved in the cooking process. These sound so good!

  5. just looking and reading it makes me hungry. really looks good! thumbs up ya. and super good luck Aja!!

  6. Kristina says:

    Hi, I am baking these now. Just wanted to let you know that although you have salt listed in the ingredients it wasn’t listed in the directions. Also in the directions you say add the egg but in the ingredients there was no egg listed.

    They smell great!

  7. I love how you take the staid healthfulness of oatmeal — then make it all bad-boy with whiskey. I think I’m going to need a 12-step program for these cookies. LOL They look way too good.

  8. It tastes like pencils?! Hahahahha that is so oddly specific, it made me crack up. I actually like whiskey but I always just take straight shots of it so maybe I’ve just gotten used to it. I’m loving this recipe! Thanks! :)

  9. This is so creative! Love it!

  10. Stephanie says:

    Would omitting the coconut make much difference to the consistency? Would I need to add anything to replace it if I decided to leave it out?


    • Lauren Keating says:

      It helps keep the cookies chewy, so the might be a little crisper if you leave it out but they’ll still taste good. You don’t need to replace it with anything.

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