Holiday Oatmeal Cookies

Dried cherries or cranberries can be used in these cookies.  I prefer good quality dried cherries (not the sugared kind).

1 cup dried cherries (good quality)
½ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cup packed brown sugar
1 cup vegetable shortening
2 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ Tablespoon freshly grated orange rind
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 ¾ cups all purpose
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats mixed with 3 teaspoons milk

Soak the cherries in ½ cup hot water for 10 minutes.  Drain well.  Cream the shortening, granulated and brown sugars together until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, vanilla, and orange rind and mix until well combined.  Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.  Blend well.  Stir in the cherries and oats.

Drop by rounded tablespoon onto lightly greased baking sheets.  Bake cookies at 350oF for 12 to15 minutes or until the edges are golden.

~ 36 cookies.

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