DELUXE OATMEAL COOKIES

I'm trying to find a recipe for an oatmeal cookie that was published in the Food section of The Washington Post. It was an "updated" oatmeal cookie that also contained dried cherries, dried cranberries and chocolate chips. I would like to be able to surprise my son with a batch of these for the holidays.

Any help that you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Elaine Larkin

This recipe was one of several innovative cookie ideas in an article by local recipe developer Lisa Yockelson. Although you could substitute chocolate chips, the butterscotch flavor makes for a nice twist on tradition.

Do you have a recipe request? Let us know! (See address and e-mail information below.)

Deluxe Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies

(Makes about 40 cookies)

That these cookies are loaded with all the good stuff is an understatement: When freshly baked, these soft oatmeal cookies, chewy with dried fruit and sweetened here and there with bits of butterscotch-flavored chips, are dreamy and inviting.

1 1/2 cups bleached all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

5 tablespoons solid shortening, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

2 extra-large eggs

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups quick-cooking (not instant) rolled oats

1 1/4 cups butterscotch-flavored chips

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1 cup dried cherries

1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, thoroughly combine the flour, cream of tartar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Set aside.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed, cream together the butter and shortening for 5 minutes. The granulated and brown sugars are incorporated in 3 additions: First blend in half of the granulated sugar, increase the speed to medium and beat the mixture for 1 minute Add the remaining granulated sugar and beat for 1 minute longer. Then add the brown sugar and beat for 1 1/2 minutes.

After the sugars are incorporated, add the eggs, 1 at a time, blending well after each addition. Then add the vanilla and beat well, scraping down the sides of the bowl frequently.

Reduce the speed to low and blend in the flour mixture in 2 additions, beating just until the flour is absorbed after each addition. Blend in the oats. Stir in the butterscotch chips, walnuts, cherries and cranberries.

Drop rounded 2-tablespoon- size mounds of dough about 3 inches apart onto the prepared sheet. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 16 to 18 minutes, or until they are just set and light golden. Let the cookies stand on the sheets for 4 to 5 minutes (the cookies are very fragile at this stage).

Transfer the cookies to wire rack to cool completely. Store the cookies in an airtight tin with wax paper between the layers.

Per cookie: 214 calories, 3 gm protein, 29 gm carbohydrates, 10 gm fat,23 mg cholesterol, 5 gm saturated fat, 66 mg sodium

Send your recipe question (or your answer to a reader's question) to: Prince George's Food, The Washington Post, 14402 Old Mill Rd., Suite 201, Upper Marlboro, Md. 20772. Or e-mail it to food@washpost.com