An idea for a new cookie started dancing around the edges of my mind just before Valentine’s Day. I imagined something with chocolate and cherries, definitely adult-oriented, sophisticated, dark and rich. It would be the kind of cookie that’s perfect for an occasion like Valentine’s Day, whether served up to the object of your affections or simply in appreciation of how special you yourself are (I had to work in Singles Appreciation Day somehow).
Valentine’s Day not imposing any particular urgency upon me this year, I allowed some time for the idea to take hold, and I’m delighted that I was able to deliver on my vision in only two attempts.
These cookies are boldly seductive. In fact, they make my sultry gingersnaps for Leonard Cohen seem rather tame in comparison. Made with dark chocolate and cocoa powder, the batter is soft and luscious. Just look at it — could you resist using your fingers to take a pinch? The dried sour cherries add a fruity tang that complements the chocolate, and a lavish dollop of almond extract brings all the flavours together. Once baked, the cookies are slightly crisp on the outside, yielding to the tooth to reveal a dark, tender interior.
Chocolate. Sour cherries. Almond essence. Oh yes, these are cookies for grown-ups. They say romance. They say I deserve a treat like this. And of course they say I’ve been crushing on you since I was 19, Leonard.
You’ll want to bookmark this recipe for next Valentine’s Day, but don’t wait until then to spread the romance!
Dark Chocolate Sour Cherry Cookies
© Marlene Cornelis/Urban Cottage Life.com 2016
Pre-heat oven to 350 ℉ and line one or more cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- 3 oz dark (70% cocao) chocolate
- 1-1/4 cup flour
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup dried sour cherries
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp almond extract
In a heat-proof bowl over a small pot of simmering water, melt the chocolate. Remove from heat and allow to cool somewhat.
Place the flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and stir together.
Place the sour cherries in a small bowl, and toss them with a couple teaspoons of the flour mixture. Separate them with your fingers and toss again.
Cream the butter until light, then blend in the sugar until fluffy, scraping down the bowl once. Mix in the egg and almond extract. Once incorporated, scrape the bowl, add the melted chocolate and blend well.
Add the flour mixture and stir slowly until well-mixed, scraping down the bowl. Tumble the sour cherries into the batter and stir in. If using a stand mixer, just allow a few turns of the paddle, and then finish stirring by hand with a sturdy spatula until the cherries are well distributed. If you’re using a hand-held mixer with standard metal beaters, stir the cherries in completely by hand to avoid breaking them up — we’re going for big luscious bites.
I use my 1-tablespoon ice cream scoop with built in scraper-release mechanism to form the batter, placing the delectable dollops on the parchment lined baking tray about 2 inches apart.
Bake the cookies at 350℉ for 10 minutes (note: I use aluminum baking trays lined with parchment paper; if you use different pans, experiment with one or two cookies to determine the right baking time). Once done, I let the cookies stay on the tray for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove them to a cooking rack. The cookies spread out nicely into rounds about 2 inches in diameter, providing about 50 ways to say wow, you’re special.