Black Forest Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Tips: These are a more adult version of the classic chocolate chip
cookie. They are less sweet and rather more chocolatey, with a burst
of flavor from the dried cherries. I use dried red tart cherries,
which are usually available slightly sweetened; the easiest way
to chop them is by snipping each into two or three sections with
a good pair of kitchen shears. If you want to make your life even
easier, though, substitute an equal amount of dried cranberries
for the dried cherries, as the former need no chopping. Use a good
bittersweet bar chocolate for the chocolate chunks in these, and
chop the bar yourself. You'll end up with a lot of small shreds
and pieces along with those chunks, but no matter; throw them into
the dough to get that good chocolate impact.
If there was ever a dough that demanded the baking of a test cookie
or two first, this is it. The dough is very dark, and looking for
browning as a guide is all but impossible. Bake 2 or 3 cookies as
your test batch and let them cool before determining your timing
for the rest. Remember, cookies that are hot out of the oven may
seem to be just the right texture, but you must wait until they
cool before you can judge that properly.
- 3/4 cup snipped dried red tart cherries (see above)
- 9 ounces (1-1/2 cups) good-quality bittersweet chocolate chunks
- 1 cup plus 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, stirred with a fork before
- 3 Tbsp. unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 egg, graded "large"
- 1 tsp. water
In small bowl, combine snipped dried cherries and chocolate chunks;
set aside. Line cookie sheets with foil, shiny side up (do not grease).
Adjust rack to center of oven; preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Sift
together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
In large bowl, using a large spoon, cream together softened butter,
sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Stir in
flour-cocoa mixture and water. Add dried cherries and chocolate;
mix until chocolate chips/chunks are evenly distributed.
Drop two or three well-rounded teaspoons (not measuring teaspoons)
of dough onto a foil-lined cookie sheet, allowing about 2 inches
between each cookie. Bake in preheated oven about 7-1/2 to 9-1/2
minutes, turning sheet once back-to-front about halfway through
baking time. Cookies will puff and spread during baking, and they'll
lose their raw look; some edges may become darker. Do not overbake!
Allow to stand on cookie sheets about 2 minutes before removing
to cooling racks. Cool completely before trying one, and adjust
your baking time accordingly. Continue portioning and baking cookies
(I place 12 cookies on a 15-1/2 by 10-1/2 inch sheet) until all
the dough has been used. Cool cookies completely before storing
Yield: 2-1/2 to 3 dozen cookies
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