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
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