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Monday, December 9, 2013
Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies
Last Christmas one of my friends had a bit of cabin fever. She had lost her job recently, she doesn't drive, and her mother had suddenly become very busy at work. The result was that my friend was pretty much stuck at home all day, every day.
Since she has neither a car nor a license to drive I knew that if we were going to hang out I would have to go to her, which is not all that easy with a 13 month old child who is not quite walking yet. I told my friend that I would come pick her up and bring her to my house for a Christmas baking day. I asked her to choose one cookie recipe and promised that we would make enough for both of our families to enjoy. This was what she chose.
The original recipe didn't have a picture so I wasn't sure what they were supposed to look like. As I was making the dough I thought it looked rather dry and crumbly. The chocolate coating that was meant to be drizzled over top didn't seem to be the right texture either.
I later discovered that I had added too much condensed milk to it. I wound up adding almost a whole extra bag of chocolate chips to get it to the proper texture. That was when I learned that I always need to check the recipe for proper measurements before adding ingredients. I thought I had read it correctly, to add the entire can of condensed milk, but the recipe actually only called for 1/2 cup.
The cookies were salvaged and, though they looked a mess, they tasted wonderful. I sent her home with two dozen and kept two dozen for myself and even made another batch just before Christmas Eve to share with my family. (Yes, I ate almost all of the first batch myself. It's Christmas, what of it?)
Since these cookies were received so well I added them to my Christmas cookie repertoire and will probably continue to make them year after year.
Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies
Source: My Recipes (myrecipes.com)
10 oz jar maraschino cherries
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Drain your cherries and discard all but 3 Tbsp of the juice.
In a medium bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and 1 1/2 tsp of the reserved cherry juice. In a separate bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and whisk to combine.
Slowly mix the dry mixture into the wet mixture until just incorporated. It will look very thick and dry. This is normal.
Form the dough into 2 dozen balls, about rounded Tbsp size. Place the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet and make a thumbprint indentation in each one.
Insert a cherry into each indentation and set the cookie sheet aside.
In a small saucepan combine the chocolate chips and condensed milk and heat slowly over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until all of the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and add the remaining cherry juice. Stir until the mixture becomes smooth again.
Spoon about 1 tsp of the chocolate mixture over the cherry on each cookie.
Try to cover the cherry.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Note: Allow the cookies to cool for a few hours (overnight is best if you don't have animals that will disturb them) before stacking them because the chocolate on top stays fairly gooey and will stick to other cookies when stacked.