18 July 2011

a baking revelation

Let it be known that I, future food writer, bakery owner, and professor extraordinaire, have created the first ever recipe that I can call My Own. It all started with a botched clafoutis recipe and a bag of a fresh cherries.

But first, let me tell you something about Imitation Cherry Flavoring, e.g., that it is amazing. A true wonder of the modern baking world. And while this, My Recipe, calls for fresh cherries--a little cherry flavoring won't hurt. Nay, twill even make these cookies more delectable. Nay, even irresistible to your neighbors who will attempt to devour them straight of the oven ne'er paying attention to the pools of hot chocolate lava scalding their fingers and tongue.

I have been baking up a storm as of late. You don't know this, because no one knows this. No one except my roommates and neighbors who have been wiling (?) test subjects for the madness that has been my time in the kitchen. They say they are grateful for my suppling them with an ever increasing mountain of baked goods, one even going so far as to write up Another Testament Concerning The Divinity of Susannah's Baked Goods, (I asked for it to be framed for my birthday) but I have seen the girth of their waist bands, as I have seen my own, and I am concerned for them. Not concerned enough to stop baking, however. That is why you have the option to add an ingredient mildly healthful (I'm thinking rolled oats?) to these sinful treats. I will be doing no such thing. I'm just throwing the option out there.

But to what would I possibly add oatmeal? You ask. Certainly not stodgy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies? Certainly not! I say.

What do the heavenly combination of farmer's market cherries and dark chocolate create?

You would be correct in guessing Cherry Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Yes. Thank you, thank you. I don't have the free time to sign autographs at Barnes and Noble on Saturday, although they certainly did beg. And offer me a cookbook deal.

I used a sugar cookie base for these that worked out perfectly. Just dry enough to allow the moist cherries and the chopped chocolate to incorporate into the dough without creating a runny mess.

Pre-baked and perfect. The hold their shape while baking which makes me love them even more. 

Here's where I leave you hanging and deny you the recipe.

Just kidding.

For the sugar cookie base: 

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla

For the cherry/chocolate addition: 

1 tsp. almond extract
3 tsp. imitation cherry flavoring
1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and chopped
8 oz. dark chocolate, chopped (I like Ghirardelli's 60%)

Mix together flour and salt. Cream sugar and softened butter in separate bowl. Add the egg and vanilla. To the butter mixture add imitation cherry flavoring and almond extract.

Mix wet and dry ingredients together. Dough with be slightly dry but easy to work with. Add chopped cherries and mix well. Add dark chocolate and combine until just incorporated. Dough may not seem completely mixed, that is okay.

Line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper. Spoon small amounts of dough and form into cookie-shaped patties. Bake for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.


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