For Chocolate Lovers only

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 measuring
  • 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 or freezing.

Yield: 2-1/2 to 3 dozen cookies

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