Sunday, May 31, 2009

Chocolate Fudge Cookies with Dried Cherries and Toffee

Chocolate Fudge Cookies with Dried Cherries and Toffee


I scored pret-ty big this weekend, and no, I don't mean that way,
although if this was a true-confessions-type of blog, or one of those
graphic and crude ones, I could tell you some stor...nevermind.

I like Scharffenberger chocolate. I don't like the news that Hershey's bought
the company because I hate to see smaller companies scarfed up by conglomerates
only to have the smaller company name disappear. I haven't been able to learn
if Hershey plans to make Scharffenberger go away or not yet, but I hope they leave
the name and quality alone. If you have any newer information about this, please
let me know.

The thing that brought all this to mind was when I was perusing the aisles
at my local Meijer, (for those not living in Michigan and Ohio, it's a huge
grocery and department store-kind of place) I found myself in the baking section,
where I am often found, truth to tell, drooling over huge chunks of chocolate
and other add-ins for cookies and various other baked goodies.
I spotted the Scharffenberger with orange price stickers: this means only one thing:
clearance. They were originally marked $4.99 but cut down to $2.50.
$2.50?!?! As I grabbed bar after bar, I wondered if maybe the reason they
were marked down was because they were running the stock out in order to
change the package, name, product, etc.
I hope not.


Chocolate Fudge Cookies with Dried Cherries and Toffee
(Regan Daley)


Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups AP flour
1/2 cup unsweetened dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup plump, moist, dried Michigan cherries
8 oz. bitter or semisweet chocolate chopped into chunks about the size of the cherries
1 cup English toffee pieces for baking such as Skor Bits

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two heavy baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt together in a bowl and set aside. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and both sugars until light in color and fluffy-about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture in 3 additions, blending just until the dry ingredients are moistened. This part is really easier with a wooden spoon since the batter is very dense. Stir in the chocolate pieces and cherries and toffee bits.

At this point the dough may be frozen for up to 4 months; wrap securely in plastic wrap and place in a plastic freezer bag; thaw in the refrigerator without removing the wrapping before portioning the cookies and baking.

Drop the batter by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets and place them in the center of the oven, turning half way through baking.

Bake the cookies for 15-18 minutes or until barely set in the center and just firm around the edges. Cook cookies on tray for 3-5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely before storing. Store in air-tight container layered with sheets of parchment or waxed paper for up to 5 days.

I do want to warn you, though, that these end up pretty flat. I was a bit disappointed
that way, since I really don't like cookies that are flatter than the goodies you add to the dough.
But I'm not beaten.
I intend to try this one again, modifying it somehow to keep them from flattening
like the proverbial pancakes. They do have an excellent taste, with that crispiness
that you get with brown sugar in the dough. These are definitely
worth trying again.

And then I'll take pictures of them!

1 comment:

Cooking Mama said...

I LOVE Meijer! There are none out here in NC that I'm aware of it. But when I lived in northern IN that was my grocery store of choice.