Friday, July 13, 2012

Chewy Cherry Chunky Chocolate Cookies


Chewy Cherry Chunky Chocolate Cookies 1A

When I was a kid, Mum would have regular baking days, filling the tins with all sorts of heavenly treats - cakes and slices, her scones and pikelets were legendary, and biscuits. Now biscuits as I know them are not to be confused with what those of you in North America call biscuits, which are rather more like our scones. No, our biscuits are more akin to what you would call cookies, except that generally speaking biscuits are never really of the chewy variety. They tend more towards the crispy end of the spectrum, and include such delights as peanut brownies, afghans, Anzac biscuits, gingernuts, and hokey pokey biscuits. They can also be sandwiched together with a filling of jam or icing (or both) - for example, Belgian biscuits, yo-yos, monte carlos and shrewbury biscuits.  As for cookies, how I wonder did I manage to get through the first 30 or so years of my life without ever becoming acquainted with these over-sized, chewy bits of heaven?

These cookies are a variation on the Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything.

How to Cook Everything: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food

They are about as far removed from a dainty little biscuit as you can get, but chewy and chocolatey and utterly addictive. For all their chewiness, they do have a hint of crunch around the edges on the day they are made, and, if by chance you don't manage to polish them all off on the first day, they are wonderful turned into ice-cream sandwiches and stashed in the freezer. Simply smear a liberal scoop of your favourite ice cream between two cookies, wrap in cling film, pop all your cling film wrapped packages in a snaplock bag, and stow in the freezer. Eat direct from the freezer - heavenly!!

I adjusted the ratio of white sugar to brown sugar, to get more of the rich, caramel flavour that comes through from the brown sugar.  Also, the original recipe called for the inclusion of 2 cups of chopped chocolate (any kind) - I actually subbed one cup out for a cup of dried cherries.  You could alternatively use raisins, cranberries, dried apricots, and/or any kind of nuts - walnuts, almonds, macadamias, or pistachios would all be great. Really the combination of ingredients is limited only by your imagination. I used Whittaker's Dark Ghana chocolate in mine, but white chocolate and dairy milk are also fine if that is your preference.  Do use block chocolate though and chop it so that you get some decent sized chunks of chocolate, instead of using packs of little chocolate chips.

Chewy Cherry Chunky Chocolate Cookies 3A

Chewy Cherry Chunky Chocolate Cookies Recipe
Adapted from recipe by Mark Bittman from
Makes 18 to 20 large cookies
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

230g (8 oz) butter, room temperature
130g (4.5 oz) sugar
160g (5.6 oz) brown sugar
2 large eggs
250g (8.8 oz) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup good quality chopped chocolate
1 cup dried cherries

Begin by preheating your oven to 190 degrees C (375 degrees F).

Using an electric beater, cream together the butter and both sugars.  Then add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition to make sure they are well blended.

Sift the flour, baking soda and salt together in another bowl.  Add the dry ingredients to the butter, sugar and egg mixture, beat for a moment to combine.  Lastly add the vanilla extract, and stir in the chunks of chocolate and dried cherries.

Line a baking sheet with non-stick parchment paper, and drop spoonfuls of the cookie dough onto the baking sheet.  They will spread a lot, so make sure they are spaced well apart.

Bake until the cookies are lightly browned, about 10 minutes, and then cool on the baking sheet for a further 2 minutes, before transferring to a rack to finish cooling.

Store in an airtight container or, as suggested above, wrap a pair of these babies around some of your favourite ice cream and store in the freezer.

Alternatively, you can drop spoonfuls of the cookie dough onto a baking sheet and freeze immediately.  Then drop your balls of frozen cookie dough into a freezer bag to take out and bake any time you feel like a fresh, warm cookie - simply add another couple of minutes to the baking time.

Chewy Cherry Chunky Chocolate Cookies 2A

"How to Cook Everything" by Mark Bittman is definitely one of those books that should grace the shelves of every cook, and is available in New Zealand from Fishpond, Amazon in the US, or from Amazon UK.

Cookbook Sundays Badge

I am sharing these cookies this week at Cookbook Sundays, where my friends are delving into their cookbooks and sharing their recipes.  Hope you'll stop by and see what they've been cooking this week - maybe you'll even feel inspired to link up a recipe from one of your own cookbooks.

I'm also sharing this post at Food on Friday: Chocolate hosted by Carole at Carole's Chatter.

I am also sharing this post with Sweet New Zealand, a monthly blog event created by the very lovely Alessandra Zecchini, and which this month is hosted by After Taste. This is an opportunity for all Kiwi bloggers (whether you are living in New Zealand or overseas), as well as for non-Kiwi bloggers living in New Zealand, to connect and share some of those sweet treats from your kitchen.  So, head on over and share something sweet.

Sweet New Zealand Badge A



12 comments:

  1. These sound good. Love your pretty plates.

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    1. Thanks, Pam - I have had this plate for many years (was a great "op shop" find), and it's one of my favourites.

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  2. Your cookies looks delightful, Sue! Cookies is something that I do not often bake at home. I got to surprise my kids with some homemade choc chip cookies one of these days, soon! Thanks for the reminder! Have a lovely weekend!

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  3. Although cookies are pretty much off the eating list doesn't stop me drooling over the possibility of scoffing these.

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  4. These look and sounds delicious. I am so in love with cherries these days.

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  5. Hi Sue, those chocolate cherry chunk cookies look absolutely delicious. I fully agree about using a good block chocolate bar and Whittakers is the best in New Zealand.

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  6. I love all biscuits, large, small, crispy, chewy and these with the cherries look heavenly

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  7. These biscuits look so cute and I'm eyeing your pretty plate!

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  8. Good to see you in the bloggosphere. Not sure that is a word????

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  9. Lovely use of chocolate. It would be super if you linked this post in to Food on Friday : Chocolate

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  10. Thanks for linking in. Much appreciated. Cheers


    Ps As I am commenting on things today I am reminding people that if you turn off your word verification stuff people will find it much easier to comment on your posts. Give it a go!
    To help you here is how you do it:
    You need to go to the old Blogger interface - on your dashboard look up to top right, click the little wheel and it will give you the old interface as an option. Click that. You will see a big blue button - don't click that - click the one 3 along to the right - settings.

    Then click the comments tab - scroll down to the question "Show word verification for comments?" and click no.
    That will sort it. But you do have to click the yellow save settings button at the bottom.

    To go back to the new interface just click the blue " try the updated blogger interface" at the top next to your email address.

    There - that's my good deed for the day! Hope you didn't mind me hassling you like this!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the hint, Carole. It's a great idea, and I just gave it a try, but after two days I've received so much spam and no more "genuine" comments than normal, so it's back to word verification for me. Always a shame that there are people out there who abuse this kind of thing and spoil it for everyone else.

      Delete

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