Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies

by KAK  

I'm all about tweaking traditional recipes. Sometimes it's intentional, sometimes it's accidental, and sometimes it's a result of staring into my parents' pantry of things that are just ... odd.  (Can of dehydrated egg whites. Why?) Such an adventure as pantry-exploration led to the following modifications to the traditional chocolate chip cookie. I'm expected to make these every time I visit the family.

The Wet:

2 sticks softened/room-temp unsalted butter (unless you like salt-lick baked goods, always use unsalted butter)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend (This adds a nice tang to the cookie. I know it sounds odd, but trust me. If the thought of artificial anything curls your lip, use 3/4 cup brown sugar -- light or dark, up to you.)
2 eggs
1 splash/tablespoon artificial vanilla flavoring or 1 splash/teaspoon real vanilla extract
1 splash/teaspoon rum flavoring or 1 splash/tablespoon vanilla, butter, nut flavoring

Throw butter and sugar in a bowl and mix. I use my stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat it low/medium. Add eggs. Beat. Add flavoring. Beat. Remove whisk attachment. Put the paddle attachment on your mixer & standby for adding dry ingredients.

The Dry:
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (Yep, whole wheat flour. No, these aren't biscuits. Trust me.)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (the wheat flour needs a little extra help)
1 teaspoon salt

Put all the dry ingredients into a bowl, mix it with a spoon, spork, whatever. Do not skip this mix step, otherwise you end up with a clump of baking soda in one cookie and another cookie that is all salt. I've made the mistake for you. You're welcome.  Now, turn on the stand mixer (with the paddle), set it on low. Slowly add the mix of dry ingredients to the wet. Slowly so you don't blast flower all over the kitchen like the Swedish Chef (yurda, gurda!).

The Delish:
1 cup dark chocolate chips or rough-chopped chunks (best if frozen for an hour or so beforehand to prevent them from turning into syrup)
1 cup dried and pitted cherries (if you have the huge bing cherries, rough chop them first. Again, best if frozen pre-mixing to keep them from clinging to everything except the dough.)

Toss these into the mixing bowl (still with paddle attachment). Mix on low until "folded" into the dough. It's less than 10 secs if you're using an electric mixer, so don't wander away.

Logging (optional):
Bowl of Dough
Saran Wrap

Now, the part I despise about cookie baking is the endless "scoop by tablespoon onto cookie sheet." I wanted cookies, not an experience in being chained to the oven. Thus, I take the Saran Wrap and cut a sheet a little longer than the depth of fridge. *Messy Warning:* Stick your washed hands into the bowl of dough and form a tube of dough the diameter of the cookie size you want (bottom of a coffee mug size-ish or the "O" of the "okay" hand-signal). The length of the tube is determined by your cut of Saran Wrap, just make sure to leave an inch of wrap on either end so you don't get cookie-spooge all over your fridge. Slap the tube against one edge of the Saran Wrap, roll it up (refining the shape as you go), twist the ends of the Saran Wrap, and toss that sucker in the fridge (on a solid not slatted shelf!). Refrigerate for an hour or until the dough is hard (or keep in the ice-box for up to five days).

Once the dough is hard, unwrap and slice into 1/2 inch rounds. Place on cookie sheet, leaving space for some cookie expansion during baking. I suggest using parchment paper instead of cooking spray, since both cherries and chocolate like to linger on a naked cookie sheet.

Preheat oven to 350. Bake 10 mins (for chewy) 12 mins (for cunchy). Keep in mind you've used wheat flour, so these cookies will come out a tish darker than AP flour cookies.

Happy Holidays from your Tuesday Word-Whore!


  1. Chained to the stove indeed. These look yummy - thanks!

  2. sounds delish.....can I use actual rum instead of rum flavoring?

  3. LOL, enjoy, Jeffe.

    James, ya know, I find with real booze, the flavor of rum burns away with the alcohol during the baking. I'd save the real rum for a hot buttered rum toddy...to accompany the cookies.

  4. James, great minds think alike. I was wondering the same thing, lol. I love the spirit of experimentation, KAK. They look awesome.

  5. LOL, glad you all like the idea of them!