Wednesday, May 14, 2014

double chocolate cherry cookies - pssst...there's wine in there

I don't want to throw the term, "The Best", around lightly. But...these are "The Best Chocolate Cookies I Have Ever Had"! And I've had a fair share of cookies in my days. These cookies have the chewy, the chocolate-y, the salty, the sweet, the acidic, the fruity all in a handheld package. I love making cookies. Not only are they easy, but no one ever gets tired of them because there are so many varieties to try. Oh, I forgot about the wine. Yes there is a glass of 2011 cabernet sauvignon in these cookies. What can I say, you put in good, you get out good. Other than the cabernet, however, the rest of the ingredients are for the most part commonplace, but combined together, in this specific ratio, baked in this precise manner, makes for a delicious chow-fection. I would suggest baking these before you eat them, but really the batter is probably the best cookie batter I've ever tried in my life. I'm not going to lie, I think it's the wine. My throat feels warm. 

First, you want to take a stick of butter out to soften. Whenever you make conventional cookies you need the butter to be soft. When I'm hard pressed for time I just cover the butter and put it in the perfectly warm San Diegan sunshine. News Alert: I'm actually less than 1 mile from the Bernardo Fire that is burning right now. I think I should leave. I know, I try to brag about living in San Diego every post I write. In a medium bowl whisk together all your dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder). Cocoa powder needs to be sifted and or whisked vigilantly to get rid of the lumps. 

In a larger bowl, cream together your sugars and the butter that has now softened. Beat it until it resembled fluffy snow. Then add an egg and your vanilla extract. Beat it until smooth. 

Now comes the wine-ing (the adding of the alcohol, not the complaining). First go in with half of your wine. Beat until smooth. Then half of your flour. Beat until smooth. Then the rest of your wine. Beat until smooth. And finally add the rest of the dry load, plus the cherries and chocolate. Use some good chocolate. I'm cheap and stuck with the semi-sweet chocolate chips that I always use, and it was very delicious don't get me wrong, but I can see so much potential if you use a high quality chocolate with this cookie. I did use a high quality cocoa powder (dutch processed), so at least I'm half a miser. At this point you want to switch to a rubber spoonula and gently fold the batter until it's homogenous. 

At this point you can preheat the oven to 375. It's actually really embarassing what I did earlier. I don't know if it's just my household are not, but we store all our muffin tins and loaf pans in the oven to conserve space. I turned on the oven and forgot to take the pans out. When it came time to bake the cookies I had to actually carefully take out the 375 degree pans that were stacked within the oven. I burned myself doing so. Don't ever listen to someone who says cooking isn't dangerous. I can't be the first person to do that...right? Anyways enough talking about my flaws. Butter well a cookie sheet and, using an ice cream scoop, you can probably get 8 well spaced cookies. Bake for 9 minutes, or until the tops like dry, but soft, and the edges are firm. This recipe will yield two dozen perfect cookies. I don't like baking two racks at a time so I split mine into three separate batches. They don't cook for very long so I don't mind. Plus I can control the quality better this way.  

After you, let these cool on the pan for five, transfer them from the pan to a cooling rack, and do this with all three of the batches, then you can mess around with photos and sprinkling cherries and chocolate everywhere. As I did, which you can probably tell from the pictures. 

In all honesty these cookies are prime time, absolutely delicious, chewy, and chocolate-y. As is, the cabernet and two types of chocolate gives these cookies a sophisticated depth that is unrivaled by any of the cookie precedents that were on this blog. And the cherries in there add another element of sweetness and texture. I know, I always advocate that you try my recipes but this one I'm giving the first Chow Stamp of Approval in deliciousness. So I really, really hope you all give this a try. And as always, 


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dry red wine, such as cabernet sauvignon
1 2/3 cup (10 oz) chocolate, bars or chips
1 cup dried cherries

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