Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cookies for the Dark Side, part one

"Come to the Dark Side....we have cookies."

"Well, what kind of cookies are they?"

This conversation sparked my creativity and a rare desire to bake. I don't enjoy baking, personally. I think it's boring. I like eating baked goods, of course, but the entire chore of measuring, mixing, rolling, baking, and cooling simply does not appeal to me. I prefer a freer form of cuisine.

But, sometimes a girl just needs a really good cookie. The flavor profile mimics that of one of my favorite low-cost wines: Mirassou Cabernet. The dark chocolate is the first taste perceived against the brown sugar background, followed by the tartness of the dried cherries. The key here is to use good chocolate; the bitterness is necessary to offset the sweet.

Chocolate Chip Cookies for the Dark Side

2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c butter, room temperature
1 1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla (not imitation)
12 oz (2 c) bittersweet 60% cacao chocolate chips
1 c dried cherries

In small bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt.

Beat butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl until well-blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth. Add flour mix to butter mixture a fourth at a time and beat until well mixed. Fold in chocolate chips and cherries.

Cover cookie dough with plastic wrap, leaving no air in-between, and chill 24-36 hours.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Drop dough in 2-tablespoon portions, 2 inches apart, onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake until cookies are lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes; if baking more than one pan at a time, switch pan positions halfway through baking.

Cool on pan 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to racks to cool. Makes about 30 cookies.

While it isn't necessary to chill the dough, it's a trick most people who actually enjoy baking swear by. After some research, I found that it allows the wet ingredients to soak into the dry ingredients and produce a better melding of flavors. See this article for a very good explanation.


    It's no secret I'm a baking fanatic, so I'm happy you came to THAT dark side! Even if just for a brief visit :] I love brown-sugar-based cookies, and these look nice and chewy, mmm.

  2. a friend of mine at work, initials 'CD' actually hosts what he calls "Dark Side Events"......... the use of the word "Dark" meaning "outside the realm of the company picnic and unit sponsored haunted hay ride" and "D" for his last name...... he likes cookies. Will have to try this recipe.... my ccc's always flatten out or bake up like stones.........