Matt Entertains: Chocolate Cherry Cookies

By: Matt Armendariz
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Consider me late to this party — the one where chocolate and cherry shack up and everyone lives together happily ever after. It's not that I didn't think chocolate and cherries would be perfect together, it's just that cherries can be oh-so-seasonal and if you blink, you miss them. Luckily my newfound love for cherries is sustained during parts of the year other than summer with high quality dried tart cherries from Michigan. And seriously, I'm not trying to be a geographical snob, but I've seen (and tasted) the light: sour cherries like Montmorency or Morellos have a tartness and herbal note that marry perfectly with chocolate. 

These Chocolate Cherry Cookies, made with cocoa powder, semi sweet chocolate and a cup of dried cherries, are not too sweet or over the top. And the final note of chewy, tart cherry ends the cookie on a great note ... unless you're like me and just keep eating cookies until they're all gone.My favorite source for dried tart cherries is cherryrepublic.com from Michigan. Delightful cherries, delightful people!   

Chocolate Cherry Cookies
Makes: 24 

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1 cup dried cherries
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Place the butter and both sugars in a stand mixer. On medium speed, cream until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the egg and vanilla and continue mixing for about one minute.
  5. Remove the mixture from the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  6. Begin adding the flour mixture to the butter mixture, gently stirring. Add the dried cherries.
  7. Stir the dough until all of the flour mixture is incorporated. Be sure not to over mix the dough to prevent flat cookies.
  8. Gently fold in the melted chocolate until just combined.
  9. Roll the dough into a flat disc, cover in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  10. Place tablespoon-sized dollops of cookie dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until cookies are cooked through, but still soft and chewy. Serve warm.
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