Sunday, August 2, 2009

Dark Chocolate Cherry Cookies

I got the recipe for Katie Lee Joel's Dark chocolate and dried cherry cookies from GOOP, Gwyneth Paltrow's website. (The recipe is the 2ND one from the top.) These cookies almost didn't get made. I originally saw them on Cookie Madness. If not for her blog, I would never have made them.

Before I get into the recipe, lemme talk a bit about Miss Paltrow. I used to be a huge fan. Stress the used to. I love Love LOVED her movies. Then one day, several years ago, I saw her on Oprah . She seemed so self righteous in her new agey macrobiotic ways. I'm sorry lady, you ain't better than me cause you won't eat white flour or sugar. Her attitude repulsed me so much that when I tried to watch some of my favorite movies, (Emma and Shakespeare in Love) I turned the TV off in disgust after 5 minutes. Obviously, if she is featuring cookies on her website, she has relaxed her dietary regiment. I just can't get it out of my mind that she is some sort of wack-job when it comes to food.

When I first went to the link Cookie Madness provided on her blog, I decided to peruse the GOOP website. I was turned off immediately. The main page has six icons that you can click on that say "Make, Go, Get, Do, Be, and See." I must still be extremely disenchanted with Miss Paltrow because my initial reaction was, "Gee, that seems pretty bossy." and "Kind of presumptuous, assuming I am going to follow your demands/instructions." Needless to say I will not be subscribing to the weekly newsletter. I'm definitely not going to fall in line as one of the patrons of her B.S.

I've heard people referring to Gwyneth Paltrow as the next Oprah, or Martha Stewart. That's great, but I'm not one of their disciples either. So to me that statement gets a big ole "whoop-de-do."

Anyhow...the recipe was good. I didn't have any unbleached flour so I substituted regular bleached all purpose flour. They turned out just fine regardless of the "White" sin I had committed. I know ten thousand baby seals were killed in the bleaching process of the flour, but I'm sure that just added to the deliciousness of the cookies.

Mrblocko liked these cookies best while they were still warm from the oven. At that point I thought they were mediocre. I couldn't even taste the cherries and the dark chocolate was extremely bitter. I was correct when I guessed the flavors would improve once they had cooled completely. Dark chocolate and cherry is a great combo. The only bad thing about the cookies was that they didn't have a great shelf life. After about 4 days they started to lose freshness. I put some in the freezer at that point and they freezed OK. Sometimes when you freeze cookies, they taste better once they are thawed. These tasted exactly the same. I ended up sending most of them to work with Mrblocko rather than see them go stale. Even though they were beyond their best, everyone thought they were delicious.

Would I make these cookies again? Maybe. I think if I got in a cookie rut and wanted something different I'd turn to this recipe. The cookies were good, but I wouldn't eat the entire pan in one sitting. I could stop at two. Hmmm...maybe that's a good thing eh?

Dark Chocolate Cherry Cookies from GOOP
2 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (be sure to use a high-quality chocolate with more than 60% cacao)
1 cup dried cherries (about 6 ounces), coarsely chopped
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375ยบ F. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter with sugars til light and fluffy, 3 min. Add eggs, one at a time, beating til incorporated. Beat in vanilla. On low speed, add flour mix. With a wooden spoon, fold in chocolate, cherries and pecans. Scoop by heaping tablespoonful onto 2 cookie sheets. Bake til golden and chewy, 12 min, rotating after 6 min. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool and repeat process with remaining dough.

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