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  • Susie Csorsz Brown

Chocolate Chocolate Cherry Cookies

I wouldn’t want you to think that all we do is eat veggies and hummus and tahini on everything. I realize from my last few posts that it would be easy to get that idea. As a matter of fact, my boy herd is full of chocolate (and cookie!) fanatics.


This past weekend, I thought it would be fun to make a new cookie recipe, and the idea of chocolate and cherries combined seemed like the best direction to start. So a couple things: the cherries soaked in vinegar is a brilliant idea I saw recently that helps to amp up the cherry flavor and also the ‘tart’ nuances; sometimes dried cherries can be quite sweet, right? Also, the chilling period is important to help the dough not spread all over the pan while baking and also to help the flavors really meld. Finally, if you are not a fan of nuts, skip them, or add whatever you have on hand instead of pecans.

Cherry bits and chocolate chips and crunchy bits ... cookie goodness!



Hope you enjoy these as much as my cookie monsters do!


Chocolate Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Makes about 24 to 30 cookies


Ingredients


6 oz dried tart cherries, snipped

2 T balsamic vinegar

9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, preferably Valrhona or Ghiradelli, finely chopped

4 oz unsalted butter

4 oz cream cheese

1 T espresso powder

1/2 cup cocoa powder

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 c sugar

3/4 tsp salt

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

6 ounces (1 cup) bittersweet chocolate, cut into 1/4 to 1/2-inch chunks (or use bittersweet chocolate chips)

1 3/4 cups pecans, toasted, coarsely chopped


Directions


In a small microwave-safe bowl, stir together the cherries and vinegar. Microwave uncovered on high until the cherries absorb the vinegar, about 1 minute; set aside to cool.


In another small microwave-safe bowl, combine the finely chopped bittersweet chocolate, butter and espresso. Microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring occasionally until smooth. Stir in cocoa powder. Set aside to cool slightly.


Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer, combine eggs, cream cheese, salt and sugar and whip until the mixture is light in color and increases substantially in volume, about 10 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Stir in the melted chocolate mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder and fold them into the chocolate mixture until just combined. Fold in the cherries, pecans and chocolate chunks.


Chill dough 1 - 2 hours.


When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.


Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Drop the batter by heaping tablespoons onto the paper, leaving about 2 inches between each. Bake until the cookies are slightly puffed and cracked on the outside but gooey inside, about 10 to 14 minutes. Cool on the cookie sheets 1 minute, and then remove from pans. Cool completely before storing. Enjoy!



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