Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Black Forest Cookies

I made a lot of holiday cookies this year. I mean, a lot. I started baking the weekend right after Thanksgiving, and I baked like crazy just about every single day after that until I had reached my limit. I'm just a tad cookied out right now. Give me until about Valentine's Day to start thinking about baking more cookies!

Anyhow, the whole point of me telling you about my holiday bake-a-thon was to try to make you understand that these Black Forest Cookies are a big deal. These cookies were the hands-down most talked about, raved about, and requested recipe out of everything I prepared. I even got a phone call from my husband while he was at the office one day, because he had taken in a tray of cookies and everybody wanted to know what this cookie was!

These little beauties, like so many other things that pop up on this blog, were taken from one of the Baked cookbooks. In an attempt to redefine the traditional, but outdated, Black Forest Cake, the Baked boys created this complex cookie. It's dense and fudgy, like a brownie. It's sweet and tart, thanks to the two kinds of chocolate chips and the generous amount of dried fruit mixed in. The recipe calls for dried cherries only, but since I had a bag of dried mixed berries on hand, that is what I used. If you don't know the dried fruits are there, they're a nice, fun little surprise when you bite into a cookie. These were one of the newest additions to the cookie tray this year, and they will definitely be making another appearance next year. When the public opinion is this overwhelming, I have to listen!

Black Forest Cookies
adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
makes about 4-5 dozen cookies

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
16 oz. dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
10 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 large eggs
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup (6 oz.) white chocolate chips
1 cup (6 oz.) dried cherries (or other fruit)

1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl and set aside. In a large nonreactive metal bowl, combine the dark chocolate and butter. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugars on high speed until the mixture is pale and thick, about 5 minutes. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and the vanilla and beat until just combined. Scrape down the bowl and beat again for 10 seconds.

3. Add the flour mixture and mix on low until just combined, about 10 seconds. Do not overmix. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and dried fruit. The dough will look very loose, but it will harden in the refrigerator. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.

4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons on prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until the tops of the cookies are set and begin to show a few cracks. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before removing from the sheets onto a cooling rack.

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