Monday, February 6, 2012

torie's cherry chocolate chunk cookies - recipe #1 of 7 days of sweets

Valentine's Day is a week away and I'm honoring it by making a week's worth of sweets. On this particular day, it doesn't always mean giving your sweetie a heart shaped box of chocolates or a dozen red roses. Cupcakes, cookies, brownies or anything "sweet" are also things that can say, "I love you."

Pre-pastry school, Torie's Cherry Chocolate Chunk Cookies used to be my go-to recipe when I wanted to say "thank you", "I love you", or just because. This cookie has everything-but-the-kitchen- sink in it and I'm usually not a fan of dried fruit in baked goods but for some reason it really works here. 

I have an enormous collection of sweet and savory recipes. Mainly sweet ones of course. This recipe used to be at the top of my baking list and as of this weekend, I probably hadn't made them in over five years. What a shame.....

This recipe is pretty straight forward. There isn't anything fancy in the mixing method and you should be able to find most or all of the ingredients at your local grocery store.

Torie's Cherry Chocolate Chunk Cookies
The Martha Stewart Show 2009 

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups oats ***Whole rolled oats. Not quick cooking oats***
1 cup dried cherries ***I buy Trader Joe's Dried Pitted Tart Montmorency Cherries***
4 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped ***In a pinch, chips are fine but make sure they're bittersweet and NOT semi-sweet because you don't want to add any more sweetness***
1 cup toffee pieces  ***These are Hershey's Heath English Toffee Bits. If your grocery store doesn't have them they're available on Amazon.***

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a bowl, sift together flour and baking soda. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl ounce or twice during mixing. Add the egg; mix on high to combine. Add the vanilla; mix to combine. Scrape down the sides of bowl.

Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until well combined. Add the oats, cherries, chocolate, and toffee pieces; mix to combine after each addition. ***I usually mix the oats, cherries, chocolate chunks and toffee bits together in a separate bowl and add them in all at once.***

Spoon a heaping tablespoon of dough onto a lined baking sheet. ***You can use a cookie scoop here. I like these jumbo-size, so I use a 2 ounce scoop.*** Repeat, spacing 2 inches or more apart depending on the size of your cookies.

Bake cookies until golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. ***The jumbo cookies I baked baked for 16 minutes. The cookies will appear "raw" in the middle. Leave on the baking sheet for a few minutes so that they will finish baking. *** Transfer to a wire rack to cool. 

Store in an airtight container up to 2 days.
 ***I honestly think these cookies have a longer life than 2 days. If your container is super airtight, you may be able to stretch their life to up to 5 days.***

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