Friday, February 18, 2011

Dark Chocolate Cookies with Tart Cherries

Chocolaty Treat

Hello everybody!  Were you beginning to really wonder about me?  Where I could possibly be? And when I’d ever (if ever) be coming back?  Well I don’t really have a great answer or excuse.  Just that, well, I guess inertia got the better of me, and once my computer crashed, and my digital life came to a crashing halt, it was just tough getting all my gears in motion again.  And plus, after blogging about fifty-two weekly dinner parties, it was pretty easy to convince myself that I deserved a bit of a break from the blogosphere.  But now, I’m back, and back to say!  And it’s so, so good to be back.   Thanks for waiting.  And now, let’s get rolling!

Chocolate & Cherries

I guess I missed the mark with Valentines day.  Shoot.  But I still want to share with you today a very Valentines-y recipe: Dark Chocolate Cookies with Tart Cherries.  Soft and tender, with delicate, crackly tops and a quick crunch from a dusting of glittery sugar, these insanely delicious cookies are filled with hugely deep cocoa flavor, molten pockets of rich, oozing chocolate, and chewy, bright bites of tart red cherries.  With every bite, you’ll fall more deeply in love with this cookie, just as the person for whom you baked them, is sure to fall more deeply in with you. 

Chocolaty Chocolate

And even thought it’s too late to make these for your true-love and hide them in his locker (chocolate chip cookies were always my Valentines Day go-to gift for my high-school boyfriend) this year, these incredible cookies will be a sensation all year round.  So I don’t feel all too guilty for my tardiness. 

Tart Dried Cherries

Truly one of our favorite cookies, and undeniably delicious, they’re gorgeous and sophisticated and all around lovely too.  A perfect thing to pack into a pretty tin and bring along to lunch at a friend’s, or to give a neighbor as a birthday treat, or to send to work with your husband to share with co-workers.  Perfect for any special day, be it a birthday or Christmas or even just a random Tuesday in September.  But they’re especially perfect for Valentines Day.  Back in December, I’d been tempted to  include them in the Christmas Cookies Exchange post, but I knew I had special Valentines Day plans in mind for them.  And then what did I do, but drop the Valentines ball.  And even though these are awesome any day of the year, now that I think about it,  I really am bummed I didn’t get this recipe to you all in time, because they really are perfect for that bright red day in February.  A perfect, homemade treat for anyone you love.  I’ll be sure to remind you about these again, early next February.  But just a word of advice, don’t wait until then to make ‘em! 

Cookies & Milk

Dark Chocolate Cookies with Tart Cherries
Adapted from a recipe in Martha Stewart’s Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen cookies
Sometimes, I like to bake these cookies just a few at a time, so we can enjoy them fresh out of the oven whenever we want.  I’ll make a whole batch of dough, following the directions through the step of forming the balls of dough and rolling them in sugar.  I freeze the sugar-dusted dough balls on a sheet tray until solid, then transfer them into a zip-lock bag.  They stay tucked away in the freezer until we crave a bit of tart, chocolaty sweetness, then we simply remove a few, arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake until puffed and crackly on top.  In about fifteen minutes, we have hot, gooey cookies, fresh out of the oven, and without any fuss at all. 

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder (If you can find it, I love this brand.)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, plus about 1/2 cup more for dusting
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 firmly packed cups dried cherries (about 9 ounces)
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.  Arrange racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, vanilla, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium-high, until light and fluffy, about three minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, as needed.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition.  Add the flour mixture, and beat on low speed until just combined, being careful not to over-mix.  Using a wooden spoon, fold in the chopped chocolate and the cherries.   
Form balls of dough, each about a scant 2 tablespoons.  Roll each dough ball in a small bowl filled with about 1/2 cup granulated sugar, to coat it evenly.  Place the sugar-dusted dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, arranging them about 2 to 3 inches apart
Bake just until the cookies puff and the  tops crack, about 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets half-way through.  Using a thin metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.  Can be stored at room temperature  in an air-tight container for up to three days. 
Hot out of the oven


  1. Ummm, I have only one word. Wow. Chocolate cookies with real cherries? I've died and gone to heaven.

  2. I feel the same way, Shyla, every time I take a bite of these! So divine!

  3. So I have to testify in favor of these delicious morsels. Kate brought me, my husband, and our new baby (though he can't enjoy the cookies just yet) a baked spaghetti dish, a salad *with a bottle of dressing from Toledo, and a bag of these frozen cookie balls! Which, I promptly put in the oven and baked! I couldn't even wait for dinner time!

    The cookies were really sinful, and I have accomplished getting rid of almost the entire bag, eating three yesterday! ...Kate, you really shouldn't have....

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.
    Erin & Karim

  4. Oh, Erin! You don't know how happy it makes me that you and Karim enjoyed the dinner! It was completely my pleasure!