ANNOUNCING: Change is part of life, and apparently, it's part of blogging, too. As of September 5, 2013, I'm merging The Virtual Goody Plate with Disco Mom Takes on the World and whatever else may henceforth spill from my fingertips (and kitchen), into one great new blog. I hope you'll join me there in exclaiming, "THIS IS AWESOMELAND."

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Chocolate-Cherry Cookies with Hazelnuts

 These little biscuits are unbelievable.  And, one my current favorite recipe features, quick and easy.  No batches in and out of the oven.  No wasted space on the baking sheet.  These darlings cook in one big corner-to-corner cookie, which you later slice into diamonds with your pizza wheel, but not before melting and spreading a boatload of chocolate on them, and sprinkling with toasted hazelnuts.  YUUUUUUUUM!

"But, Kari," you say, "your cookies aren't diamond-shaped!"  And that would be because I took geometry in the summer of 1989 - yes, summer school, to get a year ahead in math, and because the guy I liked was in summer school that year and I could ride the same bus as him, and it was sooo worth it - and haven't used a lick of it since.  I thought, Diamonds.  That means go diagonal.  So I went diagonal.  In both directions.  And ended up with squares.  Not very even ones, either.  Turns out, to get diamonds you have to go straight in one direction and diagonal in the other.  Thank you, summer school. 

Chocolate-Cherry Cookies with Hazelnuts (print recipe)
Makes about 50

2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped dried cherries
3/4 cup (5 1/2 ounces) superfine sugar
1/4 tsp salt
16 T unsalted butter, softened but still cool, cut into sixteen 1/2-inch pieces
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 T cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and chopped

1.  Place an oven rack in the lower-middle position and preheat to 375 degrees.  Line an 18" x 12" baking sheet with parchment paper. 

2.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix the flour, cherries, sugar, and salt at low speed until combined, about 5 seconds.  With the mixer running on low, add the butter 1 piece at a time; continue to mix until the mixture looks crumbly and slightly wet, about 1 minute longer.  Add the vanilla and cream cheese and mix on low until the dough just begins to form large clumps, about 30 seconds.

3.  Press the dough in an even layer into the parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

4.  Immediately after removing the baking sheet from the oven, sprinkle evenly with the chocolate chips; let stand to melt, about 3 minutes.
 5.  Use an offset icing spatula to spread the chocolate into an even layer, then sprinkle evenly with the chopped hazelnuts.  Cool on a wire rack until just warm, 15 to 20 minutes.

6.  Use a pizza wheel to cut the cookies into 1 1/4-inch diamonds - this is done by cutting strips straight in one direction, and diagonally in the other.  Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Baking Illustrated: The Practical Kitchen Companion for the Home Baker

1 year ago:  Cranberry Lime Scones
2 years ago:  Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake and Frosting
3 years ago:  Blue Blueberry Muffins

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