Friday, March 6, 2009

CHOCOLATE CHIP-CHERRY-ALMOND-OATMEAL COOKIES




Hungry for a chocolate chip cookie, but tired of the same old vanilla chocolate chippers? You might just want to try this new concoction of mine. Slightly crisp exteriors with soft centers, these cookies are loaded with a mix of dark and milk chocolates and accented with dried cherries, salted almonds and a delightful orange flavor. A touch of coriander works in the background to bring more depth of flavor.

Instead of mixing the batter by hand (my usual method), I used my Cuisinart. The cookies still came out plump without falling after baking, because the Cuisinart doesn't overheat the dough the way a mixer can.

I used a mix of chocolates, not just because I was cleaning out the pantry -- it's also a great way to add complex flavors to a confection. I chopped up some Hershey Blisses -- even they were mixed (part milk chocolate, part dark), and added Hershey's Special Dark chips along with Hershey's milk chocolate chips. The almonds are a nice change from walnuts or pecans and fit in nicely with the cherries and chocolate; but, if you don't particularly like nuts in your chocolate chip cookies, leave them out. Either way, this is one cookie that won't bore you!
Chocolate Chip-Cherry-Almond-Oatmeal Cookies
Source: Judy's Kitchen
Rating: 8.5 out of 10

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup quick (not instant) oats
1/4 cup salted almonds (from a can of mixed salted nuts)
5 Tbsp. Smart Balance 50/50 butter blend, unsalted
1/4 cup sugar (or 1-1/2 tsp. stevia)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp. orange zest
1/2 large egg (1-1/2 Tbsp.)
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. orange extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips of choice
1/4 cup dried sweetened cherries

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, coriander, salt, oats, and almonds, stirring well to mix ingredients; set aside. In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse together SB, sugars and zest several times till smooth. Add egg and extracts, pulsing again till smooth and well mixed. Add dry ingredients and pulse with quick, short motions, just till nuts are chopped and everything is combined. Add chips and cherries and again pulse briefly to combine. Refrigerate dough for 1/2 hour if you have time.
Heat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet and bake 11-13 minutes, or till a toothpick inserted near center returns with just a few crumbs. Cool in pan a few minutes, then transfer to baking sheets to finish cooling. Yield: 10 (2-3/4") cookies

12 comments:

Maria said...

The cookies look fabulous!!

Barbara Bakes said...

Sounds like a great combination! I love the cherry orange addition.

Elyse said...

Oh my goodness, Judy, these cookies are BEAUTIFUL!!! They are so thick and delicious-looking. I love thick cookies; I strive for thick cookies, but I can never seem to get them. I cannot, cannot, cannot wait to try this recipe. So many wonderful ingredients, and it yields the perfect texture!

Donna-FFW said...

LOVE these. You are so awesome with all these different concoctions!

alexandra said...

slightly crisp with a soft center? sounds absolutely perfect! yum.

Sara said...

I love how these cookies are so big and thick, they look amazing.

biz319 said...

Wow - these look so good Judy! Love the crispy/chewy combo!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Judy, these cookies look great and we like them with a soft center. I've been using Smart Balance also in a lot of things although I do miss the rich flavor of the New Zealand butter we got when we lived in the islands. I've seen Kerry Gold butter in some of the gourmet markets lately. Great recipe.
Sam

Daniel said...

What a really creative recipe! The coriander really threw me for a loop but I bet you're right--it adds depth. And I love the way you used whatever chocolates happened to be in your pantry too--sometimes that makes recipes all the better!

Dan
Casual Kitchen

Katrina said...

Yum to all the flavors. I think there really is something to making cookies in a food processor, as that is what we (Anna, Rita and I) did to get our big, thick Hard Boiled Egg Cookies. These have a similar appearance. These cookies look great, Judy!

Kevin said...

These cookies sound great!

Sally said...

Thanks so much! I just took mine out of the oven, they smell AMAZING!