Monday, February 2, 2009

Sweetie

January weekends can be so weird. When you wake up on a Saturday morning in January, you're still on the heels of the holidays (no matter how distant they seem now), so a measly two-day weekend seems so short and hurried. You go from a one-year-old's birthday party on Saturday to a Superbowl party on Sunday in a rush, then down the rabbit hole to Monday before you've had a chance to relax.

That's how my January weekends feel, anyway.

Now, yesterday was the first day of February. Already, my schedule has lightened up. I even had some spare time to bake. Ahem. To bake.

To bake THE. BEST. COOKIES. EVER.

See?

Wait 'til you hear what's in them Melted semi-sweet chocolate. Walnuts. Dried cherries.

Folks, you haven't had a great cookie until you've had this cookie. I baked them yesterday afternoon before the Superbowl. They received universal thumbs ups and I knew that I needed to share them with you. So please, find some spare time in your busy weekends and give this recipe a try. You will not be sorry.

Chocolate Cherry-Walnut Cookies
Adapted from this recipe at Epicurious.com

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups (packed) brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup dried cherries
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped

Set up a double boiler (if you have not done this before, it's simple: Pour 3 cups of water into a medium-sized saucepan, then nestle a stainless steel bowl on top. Heat the water to a simmer, and you've got a double boiler). Add the chocolate and butter and stir with a spatula until melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and set it aside to cool to lukewarm.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In an upright mixer, beat together the sugar and eggs in bowl until thick, about 5 minutes. Blend in the vanilla and the chocolate mixture. Stir in the flour mixture, then the dried cherries and the walnuts. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and chill the batter until firm, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Using two spoons, drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto sheets, spacing 2 1/2 inches apart. You can eyeball the amounts here; just be sure that each ball of batter is roughly the same size as all the others to ensure even baking times. Bake the cookies just until tops are dry and cracked but cookies are still soft to touch, about 15 minutes. Cool on the cookie sheets.

Makes: a dozen large cookies

3 comments:

Foodycat said...

Dried cherries definitely make these the best cookies ever!

muddywaters said...

These look great. You can't have too many cookie recipes.

I've been a bit frazzled lately too. January flew by, and I feel like I'm being pulled in 50 different directions. Sometimes cooking can slow down time. I bet these cookies will do the trick.

12th Man Training Table said...

Given that everyone's grandma made the best cookies ever, I assume you meant second best.