Saturday, April 04, 2009

Chocolate Heavenly Cookies

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies
These are the most delicious cookie.  (I am usually not a big fan of berries and chocolate, I prefer them separately).  But this combination is out of this world.  I have made a few batches and learned a few things.
The recipe calls for 3 parts - the chocolate cookie, the cherry, the fudge topping
First off, the traditional recipe uses drained maraschino cherries.  I prefer to use maraschino cherries, chopped up finely.  Without chopping them up, when you bite into the cookie, you ultimately pull out the whole cherry and get only one bite of chocolate-cherry goodness.
(Dried cherries can also be used, as long as they are plump and moist.)
Secondly, the recipe calls for frosting the cookies before baking.  I prefer to frost afterwards.
Lastly, for an extra kick, I place half of a tiny marshmallow underneath the cherry (optional). The melted marshmallow holds the cherries in place.

Ingredients
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
3 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)

1/2 cup tiny marshmallows, cut in half
1 jar maraschino cherries (drained reserve juice)
1 cup chocolate chips - semi-sweet
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

Make cookie dough. 
Cream butter and sugar.  Add vanilla and eggs.  Blend.
Stir in flour, baking soda, baking powder and cocoa powder until combined.
Chill dough 4 hours - overnight.
When ready to make cookies, set oven to 350.
Scoop out balls of dough the size of walnuts.
Place on cookie sheet.
Make 3 indentations on each cookie with the back of a wooden spoon.

Place a half marshmallow in one indentation on each cookie.
Chop up cherries.  Place a tiny amount 1/2 tsp on each cookie.
Bake cookies 12 - 14 minutes.  Leave on cookie sheet for 2 minutes.
Transfer to wire rack to cool.
Meanwhile, while the cookies are baking, make frosting.
Melt chocolate chips and condensed milk.  (I do it in the microwave for about 45 seconds and then I stir it until smooth.)
I stir in 2- 3 tsp maraschino cherry "juice" reserved from the cherries.
Transfer fudge to a pastry bag.
Once cookies are baked and removed from cookie sheet to wire rack, frost immediately, while cookies are warm.
I pipe about 1 tablespoon or so on each cookie and then smooth it with a spatula.
Let cool.
These cookies would look great with sprinkles on top for festive occasions, but are great as is.

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