Friday, February 11, 2011

Black Forest Chocolate Cookies

I added this recipe to my cookbook - Recipes & Recollections from The Better Baker - before I ever made them because I was at a friend's home when her son was taking these cookies out of the oven. 

OH MY!  They melted in my mouth and had such a great flavor!

So...I decided to make them to give away for Valentine's Day.  (Especially since my monthly newspaper column this month talks a little bit about the health benefits of dark chocolate!)

(I found these adorable ziploc bags to 'present' the cookies in
at my local $$ store - I think they're so cute!)

The dough sets in the fridge for atleast 6 hrs...mine was there for days before I baked them.  It's nice to have it ready so when you find a spot of free time, you can start your oven and bake away.

Oh my - look at that smooooooooooth dark chocolate -
this was before adding it to the dough.


3/4 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
16 ozs dark chocolate (60-72% cacao), coarsely chopped (I used special dark choco chips)
10 Tb. butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 lg. eggs
1-1/4 c. white sugar
1 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
1 Tb. pure vanilla extract
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1 c. white chocolate chips
1 c. dried cherries

In medium bowl, place flour, baking powder, and salt; blend; set aside. In large metal bowl, combine dark chocolate and butter.  Set bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and mixture is smooth.  (I did this step in the microwave on medium power - check and stir often). Set aside to cool.

In large mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugars on high speed (using whisk attachment if you have one). Beat until mixture is pale and thick, about 5 minutes.  Add the cooled chocolate mixture and vanilla; beat just until combined.  Scrape down bowl and beat again for 10 seconds. Add flour mixture and mix on low until just combined; do not overmix. 

Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the chocolate chips, white chocolate chips and dried cherries.  The dough will look very loose, but will set up in the refrigerator. Cover; refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Drop dough by rounded tablespoonsful onto prepared baking sheets, about 1" apart.  Bake 10 - 12 minutes, rotating pans halfway through the baking time, until tops are set and begin to show a few cracks.  Remove from oven and cool slightly before removing from pans. 

Cookies can be stored in airtight container for up to 3 days.  Yield: 2 - 3 dozen nice-sized cookies.

(I ended up with about 4 dozen?)  I also used 1 c. of flour so they wouldn't be so flat, so if you use the required amount of flour, your cookies will be flatter.
(That really only matters if you're a texture kind of person).

Please don't let the length of this recipe intimidate you.  They're not difficult at all and very delicious!  Especially warm....

I enjoyed a couple of these cookies while typing up this post...MMM! *-*

I wanted to add this picture to today's post too..I bought both the heart-shaped covered pretzels for $1. at my local Dollar General, and also a pack of 12 of these adorable <3-shaped bags for a $1. I filled them with goodies (including heart shaped pretzels!) to give to my family for Valentine's Day.

You don't have to be extravagant in your gift giving....

As author Gary Chapman tells us "People have always said it's the thought that's not the thought left in your head that counts, it's the gift that comes out of the thought in your head that counts!

Personally - I'd rather get a cheapie gift...filled with thought...than something expensive that has no thought put into it.

Enjoy a wonderful pre-Valentine's Day weekend showered in love & hugs!