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Chocolate Cherry Cookies

For those of you who adore the mouthwatering duo of cherries and chocolate found in Black Forest cakes, you're going to love my cookie version of this combination.  Superb for the moments when one has to have a chocolate cookie, the decadent treats below are certainly going to hit the spot.  Don't you feel as if cookies and milk are a natural pairing that many of us never outgrow?  But whether you are a dunker or not (I'm not!), a cold glass of milk (skim, soy, rice, almond or whatever you like) is just the thing to have with a giant chocolate cherry cookie.  

Chocolate Cherry Cookies & Milk

The dough itself is enriched with the finest cocoa powder from Valrhona, which gives each cookie its dark color and deep chocolate flavor.  If you can find this French cocoa powder wherever you happen to shop, use it.  However, any good-quality, dutch-process cocoa powder will work wonderfully in my recipe.  A generous helping of plump dried cherries gets added to the dough along with your favorite type of chocolate chips.  Oh yes!  Chocolaty.  Absolutely satisfying.  Easy to make.  These are all of the things that will make you a fan of chocolate cherry cookies.  Bake some the next time you get those cravings for chocolate, which in my estimation will be! 

Chocolate Cherry Cookie Ingredients
  • 2 cups {270 g.} all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup {60 g.} dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon {5 ml.} baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon {2.5 ml.} fine sea salt
  • 2 sticks or 16 tablespoons {226 g.} unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups {270 g.} granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup {140 g.} packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons { 7.5 ml.} pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup {125 g.} dried cherries (or dried cranberries)
  • 1 cup {170 g.} chocolate chips (semisweet or bittersweet)
Equipment: baking sheets lined with parchment or silpats
Yield: approximately 2 baker's dozen ~ 26 cookies

Center oven racks.
Preheat oven to 350° F (177°C)

Cocoa powder is notorious for clumping.  The left bowl shows you Valrhona cocoa powder straight out of the container.  Before adding it to your recipe you really should sift it.  

In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and fine sea salt through a fine mesh sieve.  That bit of cocoa that sits in little clumps on your sieve should be pushed through.  Stir to combine the dry ingredients evenly.  Keep them at the ready.

In the bowl of your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed until creamy and light, about 1 minute.  Stop & scrape down the bowl and paddle, then add the granulated sugar & packed light brown sugar.  Beat on medium-high speed until lightened and creamy, about 3-4 minutes.  Scrape down the bowl and paddle at least once during this process.  Add the eggs one at a time and beat well between each addition; about 30 seconds per egg.  Beat in the vanilla extract.

Stop the machine and scrape down the bowl and paddle.  On low speed add the sifted dry ingredients and beat until combined.

Add the dried cherries and chocolate chips and mix on low speed until combined.  You can also add the cherries and chocolate chips by hand and mix them with a large spatula if you don't want the machine to do it.

Give the dough a good stir and make sure the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Using a 2" {5 cm} ice cream scoop, portion out the cookies onto your prepared baking sheets.  Give each cookie about 3" (about 8 cm) of space in between.  I recommend that you only bake 6 cookies per sheet pan, so that they have plenty of room to spread when baking.

Put them in the oven and bake for approximately 15-17 minutes.  

Watch them closely.  Bake until the tops look set.  Continue with the remaining dough.

By the way, if you're working in a hot kitchen, I suggest portioning out the cookies onto sheets and then popping them in the fridge until you're ready for the next sheet to go into the oven.  

When they come out of the oven, let the cookies sit on the baking sheets for about 2 minutes so that they firm up.  You can then gently transfer them onto racks to cool completely.

Set out a tray of these and watch them disappear in no time.

Once baked and cooled, the cookies will keep in airtight containers for 3-4 days and will ship well to chocoholics everywhere.  Use whatever chocolate chip you happen to like or if you feel like getting a bit fancy with them, chop up a good-quality chocolate in great big chunks and add it by hand.  If for some reason you can't find dried cherries at the supermarket, substitute dried cranberries.  Make sure the dried fruits are plump and pliable though for best flavor and texture.  I have a feeling I'll be sharing these cookies with a few family members and friends very soon.  Double the recipe if you want to make several dozen of them and remember, only one per person.

I'm joking!  


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