Small Batch Black Chocolate Cherry Cookies

There is nothing more frustrating than running out of vanilla.

Okay, there are a lot of things more frustrating than running out of vanilla, but wouldn’t it be nice if there weren’t?

This morning I ran out of vanilla and made a note to myself to go to Specs or Central Market and buy a bottle of the Mexican kind. The kind I like is not the fancy type sold by Nielsen Massey or the scary, supposedly toxic type containing coumarin. The kind I buy is called La Vencedora and while it’s mild, is has a really fresh vanilla flavor. It’s also about $7.00 for a huge bottle.

The good news for now is that I was able to find a cookie recipe which doesn’t call for and doesn’t really need vanilla – Black Forest Cookies. It’s an old recipe adapted from the magazine Every Day Food. I halved the recipe and used Ghirardelli 60% Cocoa Bittersweet Chocolate Chips.

These cookies so easy – you can’t mess them up. Next time, I’m going to try soaking some dried cherries overnight in grappa and adding the grappa soaked cherries to the cookie dough. I think it will work, and will report back after I get my hands on some grappa.

By the way, the cookies in the photo were made with dough that I did not bother to chill. Later, I will post a picture of cookies made with chilled dough. No doubt, they will be even thicker.

black forest cookies.jpg

Small Batch Chocolate Cherry Cookies

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
¾ cup plus 1 cup (divided use) bittersweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli)
1/4 cup unsalted butter — cut in small pieces
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar — packed
1 large egg
3/4 cups dried cherries, preferably tart of sour

Don’t preheat the oven yet because the dough needs a quick chill.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

Place the 3/4 cup chocolate chips and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high for 30 seconds; stir and repeat until chocolate is melted. whisk in both sugars. If mixture seem very hot, let it cool for a few minutes, then stir in the egg.

Stir in dry ingredients just until combined (do not overmix). Fold in chocolate chunks and cherries; press plastic wrap onto surface of dough and refrigerate 30 to 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick foil.

Drop well-rounded tablespoons of dough, about 2 inches apart, onto prepared sheets. Bake just until edges are firm — 11 to 13 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

I ended up with about 14 cookies

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Comments

  1. Janet says

    Ok, what is grappa? ;-) I just got back from the store with ingredients for the butterscotch cream cheese bars and now another wonderful temptation is posted!! Yikes, I am going to gain all my lost weight back;-) But I’ll be happy doing it. Thanks for this recipe too!

  2. Debbi says

    What is grappa???

    These look great! Any chance of just using semi sweet chips and having them equally as good??

  3. says

    Grappa is an Italian after dinner drink. A few restaurants in my town have been adding grappa soaked cherries to desserts, so I think it might be good in these cookies. Then again, the cookies are really good without any grappa.

    I am sure the semi-sweet chips would be good. I love the flavor of those bittersweet chips and I think it goes well with the tartness of the cherries, but that’s just a personal preference.

  4. says

    I love Mexican vanilla and use it in so many things. I buy mine in Juarez, Mexico at the market and only paid $5 for 2 huge bottles.
    I was eating some ice cream at a local BBQ place and it had such a great flavor. I asked the lady who made the ice cream if it had Mexican vanilla in it. She said I was the only person who had guess what the flavor was. No one else could figure it out :-)

  5. says

    I love Mexican vanilla and use it in so many things. I buy mine in Juarez, Mexico at the market and only paid $5 for 2 huge bottles.
    I was eating some ice cream at a local BBQ place and it had such a great flavor. I asked the lady who made the ice cream if it had Mexican vanilla in it. She said I was the only person who had guess what the flavor was. No one else could figure it out :-)

  6. Jen says

    I didn’t care for the Mexican vanilla carried by Penzey’s. I’ll have to look for different kinds around here.

  7. says

    I got tired of running out of vanilla, too, so I just bought a GALLON of vanilla from Watkins (via ebay). And I got a heck of a deal, too. It was $75 total, including shipping! I am hoping that it will carry me through the rest of my farmer’s market baking for the summer. We’ll see…

    By the way, Anna, I made the raspberry chocolate bars last night, and they turned out just great! Thanks for passing that one along. –Gina

  8. says

    I got tired of running out of vanilla, too, so I just bought a GALLON of vanilla from Watkins (via ebay). And I got a heck of a deal, too. It was $75 total, including shipping! I am hoping that it will carry me through the rest of my farmer’s market baking for the summer. We’ll see…

    By the way, Anna, I made the raspberry chocolate bars last night, and they turned out just great! Thanks for passing that one along. –Gina

  9. Janet says

    Well, I didn’t think the butterscotch cream cheese bars could taste better than when they were warm but I was wrong. OMG!!! Chilling the bars really took them over the top….I could eat the whole pan…thanks, Anna, for the recipe and clear instructions. You do the work and we get the credit;-)

  10. says

    Brenda, here in Austin there’s an ice cream store called Amy’s. Amy’s makes a Mexican vanilla flavored ice cream and it has a very distinct flavor.

    Honestly, I don’t think La Vencedora tastes very much like the rich, strong, Mexican vanillas you buy in Mexico. It’s rather mild. So Jen, I think you would actually like the La Vencedora.

    Gina, glad you liked the raspberry bars. Sandra and her husband thought they were too sweet, so I was worried. I thought they were fine, and so did my friend Sarah.

    Janet, Todd’s co-workers liked the butterscotch bars too. I agree — they are better after being chilled. Also, one idea I had was to use half rum extract, half vanilla and a bit of lemon juice. I think the rum extract would go well with the butterscotch.

  11. carole says

    If you shop on the internet and need Mexican Vanilla go to ebay and enter Mexican vanilla in the search box. You will get lots of hits.

    One of the brands I like is Dancys. There is dark and light. The clear vanilla is great for cookies and frostings. And, it is safe—-no coumadin.

  12. carole says

    If you shop on the internet and need Mexican Vanilla go to ebay and enter Mexican vanilla in the search box. You will get lots of hits.

    One of the brands I like is Dancys. There is dark and light. The clear vanilla is great for cookies and frostings. And, it is safe—-no coumadin.

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