Are you ever haunted by the memory of Christmas cookies past?
I am. Let me tell you about it.
When I was young, there were two cookies in particular which I treasured above the others. They were chocolate chip pistachio cookies (recipe here) and chocolate cherry cookies.
While my mom was happy to hand over the pistachio recipe, she claims a cloudy memory about the chocolate cherry variety. What? They were the best!
I'll tell you about them, and maybe you know of something similar: a chewy yet slightly crumbly chocolate cookie with a cherry pressed inside, and a chocolate ganache type topping, baked right into the top of the cookie.
I loved those cookies so hard.
This recipe, while not the same as those cookies in my memory, came out awfully good. They have the same flavor combination, and I made them with some Montmorency cherries from Stoneridge Orchards which were recently sent to me in the mail. They have a perfect, shortbread-meets sugar cookie texture base, and the cherry inside works very nicely with the chocolate, giving it an almost almond-y flavor. The chocolate topping bakes up fudge-like, and is extremely pleasant and if not gooey, then it adds a moist element to the cookie.
The candies are mainly for show, but I learned pretty quickly to not display two of them side by side, because, well, boobs. Well, OK, do it--it might make you laugh.
Chocolate cherry cookies
Very loosely based on this recipe
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg yolk
- 1-1/2cups all purpose flour
- pinch salt
- 1/4cup unsweetened baking cocoa
- 24 dried cherries
For the topping
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup chocoalte morsels
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 24 cinnamon candies, for garnish
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In large bowl, beat the sugars, 1 cup butter and the vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in egg yolk until smooth. Beat in flour, salt, and cocoa.
- Shape dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into 1-inch balls. Press a cherry on top of each cookie, and ease the dough around to cover it.
- On ungreased cookie sheet, place balls 1 inch apart. With index finger or thumb, make indentation in center of each ball. It might feel a little awkward because of the cherry inside, but I promise, you'll be OK.
- Make the topping. Combine the chocolate chips and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 20-second increments until melty. It will look ugly. Stir in the confectioners' sugar; as it mixes it will become less ugly.
- Top each cookie with a dollop of the chocolate mixture, and place a cinnamon candy on top of each.
- Bake 7 to 10 minutes or until set. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.