At work much of our donor marketing is done through volunteer work. We are starting to plan our big fundraiser and have many items to produce. The night before I was to meet with them, I decided to whip up a batch of cookies and tried this Chocolate Cherry Bite recipe from one of my new favorite cookbooks, The Pastry Queen.
As you go through the cookbook each recipe calls out your name, well mine at least. I would love to have this little restaurant in my neighborhood. These cookies are rich but the nuts given them a bit of crunch and offset some of the sweetness.
I boxed up the cookies in a pretty little box and went to my meeting. These guys loved the cookies. They later told me they had eaten those cookies all in two hours. I guess that tells you they are good!
Chocolate Cherry Bites
from The Pastry Queen Cookbook
1 cup pecans
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups firmly packed golden brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon boiling water
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups dried cherries, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350F. Arrange the pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 7 to 9 minutes, until golden brown and aromatic. Cool the nuts and chop.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats, or grease generously with butter or cooking spray. Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar in a large owl on medium speed about 1 minute, until fluffy. Add the eggs and beat on medium speed about 30 seconds. In a small bowl, stir the espresso powder into the boiling water until dissolved. Add the espresso liquid and the vanilla to the cookie batter and beat for 30 seconds.
Add the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt all at once, mixing on low speed just until incorporated. Stir in the pecans, chocolate chips, and cherries. (The dough will be softer and wetter than the average cookie dough.
Using a 1 3/4 inch diameter scoop, drop the cookie dough on the prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 3/4 apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the cookies have spread and have no lighter colored, raw looking dough in the middle. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet about 10 minutes, until they are no longer too soft to remove.