Originally I had planned an “issues” type post today. We were going to get deep, guys. Given the heartbreaking news out of Connecticut yesterday, I’m just not up for something heavy. Are you?

I have a few go-to stress relievers. The two most common are working out (fighting at Krav Maga makes for a great outlet) and baking. The latter also gets my creative juices flowing. As such, it happens often.

I’ve been making quite a few Christmas cookies of late. After the last round of tweaking, I think I finally have my Double Chocolate Cherry recipe perfected. The feedback on the batch made last week was that it tasted like a brownie in cookie form. Also, everyone asked me to to make it again. Before Christmas. Everyone ate the full batch I provided in a single day.

So, to clear my head today I’m going to whip up another batch or two of the Double Chocolate Cherry cookies, and because you might need some stress relief (or, you know, cookies—same thing), I’m going to share my recipe with y’all.

I’m going to write this one up like you’re using regular flour, but I use my own gluten-free blend. I’m that kind of a nerd (with food allergies). If you have Celiac or a gluten intolerance and don’t already have a good flour blend that makes cakes and breads fluffy, let me know and I’ll give you my mix.

That caveat out of the way, my Christmas gift to you: COOKIES!

Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies

2 2/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons all-vegetable shortening
6 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dried cherries, chopped
2 large eggs (If using gluten-free flour, make sure these are at room temperature. Yes, it makes a difference.)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a medium microwavable bowl, melt together 1 2/3 cups chocolate chips and the shortening on high until almost melted (takes me just shy of 2 minutes). Stir to combine.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the dried cherries.

4. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla until slightly thickened and bubbles appear. Whisk in the chocolate mixture, then gradually whisk in the flour mixture. Stir in the remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips.

5. Refrigerate until firm enough to scoop but still soft. (This takes about 15 minutes.)

6. Using a rounded tablespoon, drop the dough 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.

7. Bake until cracks appear on the surface, about 12 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets set on a wire rack.

8. Fend off friends and family who would try to taste test before you get the first cookie. Enjoy!

Note: This recipe makes around 24 cookies and the recipe is modified from one via Cooking for Isaiah.

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