Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Chocolate Toffee Dried Cherry Cookies

I now like naps even better than chocolate. It is as a result of old age. There is nothing like sprawling in the middle of our bed, late afternoon, with Purrfect the cat and a soft blankie. Did you know pets help you sleep? They do! Lowers blood pressure to have one near you. Some weekends I even find Mr. Smith, who refers to her as ***@@!! CAT, asleep with Purrf on his stomach. Nose in the air, snoring. It is a peaceful sound--like wind through the pine-trees. Naps are wonderful, but up until I was, well, how old I am, I liked chocolate better. So here is my favorite chocolate cookie recipe for when you can't nap...

Warning: These are totally addictive, so it's good that toffee bits are only available in winter!

21/4 C. flour
1/2 C. unsweetened Cocoa powder
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 C. unsalted butter, softened
1C. packed brown sugar
3/4 C. sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1 C. moist dried sour cherries
8 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate in chips or chunks
1 C toffee bits--with no chocolate, such as Heath or Skor Bits

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside. Do not use non-stick or greased pans. Sift the flour, cocoa, soda and salt together into a bowl and set aside. In large bowl, cream butter and both sugars until light and fluffy with a mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in vanilla. Sir in the flour mixture in three additions, blending gently just until all the ingredients are moistened( I use a wooden spoon rather than a mixer on this part). Stir in the chunky ingredients and mix until they seem evenly distributed. (The dough may be frozen at this point for up to 4 months: wrap the dough securely in plastic wrap, then in a plastic freezer bag. Thaw the dough in the refrigerator without removing it's wrapping before portioning the cookies and baking.)
Drop batter by heaping tablespoons onto baking sheets. Bake until they are no longer shiny on top--12-15 minutes. They should be mounds when done, not flat. Cool and devour.

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