Friday, July 30, 2010

Chocolate Cookies with Dried Cherries and Toasted Pecans

My work schedule in the summer is a lot different than the rest of the year. I work in an academic library and our summer hours are a lot shorter, so I work fewer hours. The rest of the year, when I think about my work schedule, the summer seems like it will be so nice and I will have all this extra free time. Summer comes and where does the time go? I do manage to fit in an extra ballet and pointe class per week, but other than that I don’t really feel like I get things done as much as I would hope.

In the summer I don’t have to be at work until a bit later in the morning and one day I actually took advantage of this extra time and got some housework done. I had picked this recipe and even got all the ingredients out and ready on the counter so that I could bake them up when I got home from work. I never do this but I should try to do it more often since it made baking so much easier. I’m really an organized person, but for some reason I just don’t usually take that extra step.

So this is actually a cookie from a Christmas cookie book, but I figure I adapted it enough to make it less like a holiday cookie. It’s supposed to be a pistachio, dried cranberry chocolate cookie, but I changed to dried cherries and pecans. I toggled between using pecans or hazelnuts, and I decided to use pecans. I’m sure they would have been good with hazelnuts, too. The original recipe didn’t have any salt (maybe they assumed you would use salted pistachios) and the chocolate really needs salt to bring out the flavor. These were easy to make and at first I didn’t think I would add the glaze. They were quite bland without the glaze. The glaze added the something extra that it needed. I had a jar of maraschino cherries in the refrigerator and I used the cherry juice (syrup?) for the glaze. That gave the glaze a nice color and a little extra flavor.

1 cup butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1 cup dried cherries

1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
4-5 tablespoons cherry juice/syrup (or milk)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

In a large mixer bowl, combine butter, sugar, and brown sugar and beat at medium speed until creamy. Add the melted chocolate, eggs and vanilla; continue beating until well mixed. Reduce speed to low; add the flour, baking soda and salt. Beat until well mixed. Stir in the pecans and dried cherries by hand.

Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until set. Cool completely on a wire rack.

In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and cherry juice. Stir until smooth; if the glaze is too thick, add additional cherry juice. Drizzle glaze over cooled cookies.

Recipe adapted from Land O Lakes


scrambledhenfruit said...

Christmas cookies are delicious at any time of year. :) Chocolate and cherries make a great combination- thanks for sharing!

Beth said...

Hi Nicole,

Just wanted to let you know that I linked to your blog and the wonderful chewy chocolate blondies you chose earlier this week. You can check it out at Great pick -- I loved that recipe!


Anne said...

So pretty and I love the glaze!