I was happy to see the Cookie Carnival come back into action this month.
This month we made Chocolate Fudge Cookies with Toffee & Dried Cherries.
These chocolate cookies were full of melted chocolate pieces, toffee bits and dried cherries. They were incredibly good when eaten right off the cookie sheet, while they were still warm - although I would've liked to have tasted more flavor from the cherries and toffee.
From In The Sweet Kitchen
by Regan Daley
makes 40 large cookies
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup tightly packed dark brown sugar
3/4 granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup plump, moist, dried sour cherries
8 oz. bitter or semisweet chocolate chopped into chunks about the size of the cherries
1 cup English toffee pieces for baking such as Skor Bits
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two heavy baking sheets, not non-stick, with parchment paper and set aside. sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt together into a bowl and set aside. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and both sugars until light in color and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla. stir in the flour-mixture in 3 additions, blending just until the dry ingredients are moistened. I find this part of the job easier with a wooden spoon, rather than a mixer, as I can see better which parts of the batter need more attention without overmixing. Stir in the chunky ingredients and mix until they seem evenly distributed. (the dough may be frozen at this point for up to 4 months: wrap the dough securely in plastic wrap, then in a plastic freezer bag. Thaw the dough in the refrigerator without removing its wrapping before portioning the cookies and baking.)
2. Drop the batter by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets and place them in the center of the oven. If you have a large, evenly tempered oven, place the 2 sheets in at once, onto racks positioned close to the middle of the oven. Switch the position of the trays once during baking. If your oven is small, or tends to have hot or cold spots, bake one tray at a time so the cookies bake evenly.
3. Bake the cookies for 15-18 minutes, or until barely set in the center and just firm around the
edges. Rotate the sheets once or twice. Cool the cookies on the tray for 3-5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely before storing. (feel free to eat them at any point.) Run the hot tray under cold water to cool it, dry thoroughly and repeat with remaining dough. Store the cookies in airtight containers, layered between sheets of parchment or waxed paper for up to 5 days.
I cut the recipe in half because I knew that my kids wouldn't eat them because of the cherries in them.
To make the cherries a little more plump, I soaked them for 5 minutes in boiling water and then drained them well before adding them to the mix. I subbed light brown sugar for the dark brown sugar.
The recipe is very simple and easy to follow. It's a plus, to me, that this cookie dough can be frozen. It's also great that this recipe is very versatile. Once the chocolate dough is mixed up, you can just about any "extra" to the batter to personalize it.
I didn't have any parchment paper so I lightly sprayed my cookie sheets with cooking spray and then proceeded to place the scooped cookies onto the sheets. I used a large ice cream scoop to scoop out 9 cookies. My cookies baked for 16 minutes. They do spread out quite a bit so be sure to leave plenty of room between the cookies when you are placing them on the trays.
Once I took them out of the oven, instead of allowing them to cool on the trays as in the directions, I immediately removed the cookies from the trays to cooling racks.
I ate another one for dessert --it's still chewy and the chocolate is still soft. YUM! They go great with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee. My kids don't know what they are missing. ;)