Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Really Good Cookies

cherry cookies6

When I decide to try a cookie recipe, I have to have guarantees.

A guarantee that they are going to be a crispy, not too sweet, chocolate somewhere in the middle, and the best specimen out there, since baking cookies is not my favorite thing to do.

I must have seen this cookie on 10 food sites in the last year, drooling over the photos each time. Finally my 10 pm baking session produced them.

They were everything and more that they promised to be.

I think the recipe is originally from Cooks Illustrated, but I found them by way of Seven Spoons.

If you love chocolate with cherries, like me, then these are for you.
The recipe says if you can't find dried cherries then go for cranberries.

Notes: Trader Joe's has 2 types of dried cherries. Dark & sweet, or Bing. After a taste test, I chose the Bing.
I used a 72% cacao bar and chopped it accordingly.

I made the cookies smaller than the original recipe, and it made about 36, give or take a few

BEST Chocolate Cookies w/ Pecans and Dried Cherries:

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1 cup dried sour cherries or cranberries, chopped coarse
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces about the size of chocolate chips
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons, 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C), with racks on the top and bottom thirds. Use parchment paper to line several standard baking sheets and set aside.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl combine the oats, pecans, dried cherries and chocolate.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Since I am old school, and use a wooden spoon to mix, this was a bit of a pain, but the dough finally came together nicely (I would recommend using the mixer, if you have one!).

Add the egg and incorporate with the butter sugar mixture.

Now add the flour mixture to the bowl. Stir until just combined. Finally incorporate the oats, nuts, fruit and chocolate. Do not over mix. Turn off the mixer and use a rubber spatula to give the dough a final stir and make sure that all the ingredients are incorporated.

To shape the cookies, I used a tablespoon measure and plopped the cookies onto parchment paper lined baking sheets.

I baked them exactly 12 minutes, rotating the pans after 6 minutes of baking.
Let them rest a minute or two on the baking sheets before transferring to cooling racks.

cherry cookies5



Ciao Chow Linda said...

These do sound wonderful Stacey. Thanks for doing all the advance work.

kat said...

We have pounds (literally) of dried MI tart cherries & this sounds like a good way to use them.

Anonymous said...

STILL waiting for Miss Piggy. Funny, I'm mostly veg, but if anything's gonna make me fall off the wagon, it's my mom's pork roast, German style, simply spiced w/ thyme, salt, & pepper, and all that wonderful gravy. No cookie monster here, my sweet tooth's a baby. So Stacey, where's the beef, i mean pork? You promised!

Stacey Snacks said...

I was joking about the pig, it was just so people would see I am not really a vegetarian, though I do love vegetarian meals.
Maybe I will roast a pig this summer, but probably not.
I will stick with pork roast, head already removed by the butcher.

lisa said...

This sounds like my kind of cookie! I love a good mix of oats, nuts, fruit, and chocolate. Now, I have to look for dried Bing cherries!

The Japanese Redneck said...

I think I would like these without the chocolate. I don't like chocolate chip cookies. Luv cherries and pecans.

Maria said...

Those do look good! Great recipe!

Jen_from_NJ said...

I am not much of a cookie baker but these do look really good! I have a giant unopened Costco bag of Craisins (what was I thinking?) which might work well in this recipe.

Proud Italian Cook said...

You bake at 10PM, and then what do you do when they come out of the oven? Do you actually eat these that late? Oh how I wish I had your metabolism girl!

Susan-CookingtoSave said...

Just came across some dried cherries in my pantry. Now I know what I will be doing with them! Thanks for sharing!

Cherine said...

Love those cookies!! they look so delicious!

CB said...

Stacy - your posts are, simply put, DEE-LISH-US! I am so making these this weekend. Can't wait for you to get a grill and come up with some fun summer time fare for me!

RecipeGirl said...

I ALMOST clicked away when I saw the photograph... since I thought those were raisins. I actually have a t-shirt that says, "Stupid Raisins Stay Out of My Cookies!" Glad to see that they're cherries. I can deal with that! They look delicious :)

Robyn said...

Hi Stacey - It is Robyn (we met at Santcuary - AZ). I am loving your blog and can't wait to try these cookies. Baking is my passion! Thanks!

Dana said...

Those look terrific. Usually I don't like anything to interfere with my chocolate in a cookie, but I would make an exception here. I'm with you - I hate making them but do so all too often.

paul caron said...

I wish I could eat those wonderful cookies...but Ashley and the nuts...ahhh