Monday, November 2, 2009

Cherry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I saw this recipe in the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday, and I know it will be sensational for two reasons. #1 the ingredients are perfect. #2 you can make the dough for these cookies up to a month in advance, freeze them, and then bake them at the last minute, especially during the holidays. Your house will smell great, and your guests will be in awe of how well you budgeted your time that you were able to make homemade cookies in addition to everything else. These are also great for any time you need a special dessert at the last minute.

This recipe is just one of many --but the only with chocolate-- that Amanda Gold at the SF Chronicle assembled for her "Freezer Party." Read the whole article, here. I made a few changes/additions based on cookies I've made.

Cherry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Makes about 5 dozen cookies

2 sticks butter, softened (unsalted)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
10 ounces dark chocolate chunks (I would use a high-grade dark chocolate-the best you can buy-break into pieces)
3/4 cup dried cherries (I would use dried tart montmorency cherries)
I would also add 3/4 cup of chopped pecans/I think they'll be fine in the freezer

Instructions: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugars and salt until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla, beating after each addition. Slowly add in the baking soda and flour, beating until well combined, taking care not to overmix. With a spatula, fold in the chocolate chunks and cherries (and pecans if you're using them)

Using two tablespoons or a small ice cream scoop, form cookies and place on ungreased baking sheets. If baking right away, the cookies should be 2 inches apart on the baking sheets, and should be baked for about 9 minutes in a 350° oven.

If freezing, place cookies right next to one another on one cookie sheet, and freeze for at least 30 minutes until firm, then transfer cookies to a self-sealing plastic freezer bag.

You can pull them out as needed and bake them directly from the freezer in a preheated 350° oven for about 11 minutes.

another variation:

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