SMS: Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies

It just so happens that three of the most special women in my life are full-blown, die-hard, absolute chocoholics. When asked about their favorite sweet treat (something I routinely make a mental note of for friends and family), each would most certainly respond “anything chocolate.” To celebrate her granddaughter’s 1st birthday, I surprised my “work mom” Linda with double chocolate cupcakes. I checked with her in advance, wondering what little Maddie might like for her first introduction to sugar, and Linda responded with resounding assurance- that little baby didn’t stand a chance of ever tasting vanilla! Whenever my cousin, dear friend, and baking buddy, Erica, is in town from Philadelphia, I am determined to fill her belly with a goodie that showcases her favorite ingredient- so far the top recipe has been the chocolate swirl sticks, yeasted sweet dough breadsticks twisted with a cocoa-powder, cinnamon, and chocolate chip filling. Let’s just say she and her adorable boyfriend, AJ, fought over the left-overs all the way home. And a care package to my sweetheart gal pal, Elise, would not be complete without something doused in chocolate- most recently chocolate covered espresso beans. Needless to say, I am always on the hunt for dependable, delicious, chock-full-of-chocolate recipes to turn to when I’m tasked with whipping up something tasty for one of these lovely ladies.

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This week’s SMS selection, Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies, definitely makes the grade, and will fit nicely in my super chocolatey baking repertoire. Delicately balanced by dried cherries, these chocolate cookies have a little something different that sets them apart. I was pleased that the depth of their flavor is matched by their concentrated dark brown color, alerting potential tasters that an intense eating experience awaits. While preparing the cookie’s mix-ins, I decided to chop the dried cherries, so they would be more evenly distributed throughout the dough. As with all dried fruits in my baking, I soaked the cherries in boiling water spiked with some vanilla extract to plump each juicy morsel, and ensure adequate moisture after a trip through the oven. Following the advice of some of the other SMS bakers, I watched the cookies carefully, and pulled them out about 1 minute early, which ensured a soft and chewy texture. Although I’m more accustomed to the scoop-and-drop method of cookie baking, The Sweet Melissa Baking Book is making me a slice-and-bake convert. So far, both of the cookies I’ve made using this method have emerged with superlative taste, consistency, and appearance. The chill period might require a bit more time, planning, and patience, but I must say, the results are worth it!

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And believe it or not, these cookies are not only scrumptious, they are healthy for you too! Cherries contain anthocyanins, the red pigment in berries and potent antioxidants that have been shown to reduce pain and inflammation, leading to multiple potential health benefits. Of course, chocolate is also known to contain antioxidants, especially in the cocoa solids or cocoa powder. So go ahead, eat a cookie- I guarantee it will make you feel better inside and out!

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Thank you to Megan of My Baking Adventures for this remarkable SMS pick. Head on over to her site for the recipe, and remember to check out all the other cookies made by the fabulous SMS bakers.

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22 responses

  1. Well, you can add me to the list of die hard chocolate lover!

    So glad you enjoyed these – and I will try your tip of plumping the cherries in water with vanilla!

  2. Glad you’re becoming a slice-and-bake convert – I make all my cookies that way these days. It’s just so easy. But more importantly, it means that there are always cookies ready to be baked at a moment’s notice! Your cookies look great, these are definitely in my chocolate repertoire now, too.

  3. Your cookies turned out great. I thought it was funny we both plumped up our dried fruit (I used craisins though). Will have to try the addition of vanilla next time (I used a combo of water and orange juice)>

  4. Beautiful cookies! I didn’t know the tip about plumping the dried fruit, but both you and Hanaa mentioned it this week; I will definitely try it next time I use dried fruit.

  5. You know, I tried for years to convince my mother that chocolate was good for me, I never quite got through to her. No matter, though, she’s just as much a chocoholic as me! I like the tip about plumping the cherries with a splash of vanilla, I’d never heard that before and I’ll definitely have to try it. And I’m becoming a slice-and-bake convert, too, I think! Oh, and awesome pictures!

  6. Joy,

    I’m looking forward to your ice cream post. I made made on Friday and decided to make ice cream sandwiches.

    As for the cake decorating skills, I took Wilton I and II classes at Michaels. I went to the Michaels website and looked for stores in the Boston area and there were several: http://direct.where2getit.com/cwc/apps/w2gi.php?client=michaels&template=locator&city=boston&state=MA&postalcode=&country=US

    I’m certain you’ll have lots of fun taking cake decorating classes. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it right, right away. It’s a matter of practice, and practice makes perfect :o)

  7. Joy:

    I made these cookies today to send to Courtney. They aren’t as pretty as yours – I think you must take more time than I do to make sure they are all perfectly round – but they sure are delicious! ( Well, I had to taste one before sending it, didn’t I?) I think I might try that peach cobbler next.

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