Happily clicking my way through the new recipes on the Australian Gourmet Traveller website – resisting the urge to print every other recipe – I landed on sour cherry-chocolate cookies The photo called to me and pretty soon I was at the store scouring the bulk aisles for dried sour cherries. After a few trips to different stores all I came up with was un-sour dried cherries for $9.99 per pound, and put the recipe on hold until the day they went on sale, if ever.
Last Wednesday the new sale flyers came out for Sun Harvest: Washington red cherries 88¢ per pound. I know what you’re thinking – they aren’t dried and they aren’t sour.
But look how pretty! Like shiny red jewels adorning the rich chocolate dough.
The aroma wafting from the oven is enough to make you sacrifice the cookies and take them out to eat half-baked. The cookies are moist, a little cake-y and [it should go without saying] very, very chocolate-y. They pretty much ooze chocolate with every bite. And I really like the addition of fresh cherries instead of dried, giving them a sweet yet healthy feel.
Sour Cherry Chocolate Cookies [makes 36 small cookies]
I halved the recipe, but this is the original reflecting full amounts.
2 sticks + 2 T butter, softened
1 c caster [superfine] sugar
1 c brown sugar, firmly packed
1 vanilla bean, scraped seeds only [or 1 t vanilla extract]
2 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c + 2 T Dutch-process cocoa powder [I think Natural-process has a truer chocolate flavor]
1 t baking soda
140 g dark chocolate [70% cocoa solids], coarsely chopped
1 c dried sour cherries or coarsely chopped fresh cherries
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Beat butter and sugars in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until light and fluffy [2-3 minutes]. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well to combine. Sift over flour, cocoa, baking soda and 1/4 t salt, stir to combine, then stir in chocolate and cherries.
Roll heaped tablespoons of mixture into rough balls [or use a small scoop], place on parchment paper-lined oven trays and flatten slightly, leaving plenty of room for them to spread. Bake until puffed and starting to set, 8-9 minutes; mine took 9-10. Cool slightly on tray then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies will flatten slightly while cooling.
Cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days. [*Ours will be lucky to last through the day.]