21 hours ago
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
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.