Going through my cabinets this week trying to decide what flavors I wanted I remember some bulk sweet cherries I picked up at the grocery store a couple of weeks ago. They were not tiny and dried, but they reminded me of big raisins. I purchased mine from the local grocery store here in Pennsylvania, but you can make your own if you like. The Redhead Baker has a recipe on how to do this called Oven-dried Cherries.
I also did a little research on cherries to find flavors that would compliment the cherry taste and found an interesting fact about cherry pits. When you crack open a cherry pit, it has the essence of almonds. Now am I going to crack open a bunch of cherry pits for the almond flavor, I don't think so. But I am going to add almond slices to my cookie for the almond taste.
I like to add a flavor on top of my cookies but didn't want to overpower the taste of the cherries, so I picked up a package of dark chocolate chips to melt for the drizzle on top.
You can add more cherries and almonds if you like it is up to your taste just do equal part of each.
Cherry Almond with Dark Chocolate Drizzle Cookies
- 4 cups All purpose flour 480 g
- 8 oz Cream Cheese
- 1 cup Butter unsalted 2 sticks
- 3 cups Powdered sugar 338 g
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- 1 ¼ cup Dried sweet cherries
- 1 ¼ cup Almonds sliced
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Lemon zest ½ lemon
- ¾ to 1 cup Dark chocolate chips
- My sweet cherries were a little bigger than raisins, and I wanted to plump them up. I covered them in hot water (not boiling) and added the lemon zest. I let them soak for about a half hour then rinsed them off. You can soak them in a fruit juice if you like, but it might change the cherry flavor a bit. I love lemon zest since I think it wakes up the cherry flavor. Set them aside.
- In a bowl weigh or measure the flour and baking powder. Run a whisk through to blend. In another bowl weigh or measure the powdered sugar and set it aside.
- In a stand (I use a KitchenAid) or handheld mixer (medium speed) cream the butter and the cream cheese together. You want it nice and light in color. Turn the mixer down to slow speed and gradually add the powdered sugar till incorporated. Turn the mixer speed back up and add one egg at a time followed by the vanilla extract.
- Gradually add the flour baking powder mixture. I stop and scrape the bowl down the sides and across the bottom to make sure all the flour is incorporated. Add the almond slices and add the cherries last. Just mix long enough to spread the cherries around in the cookie dough. Be careful not to mix too long, or it will break the cherries up into small pieces. You may have to mix the cherries a little by hand with a spatula.
- Cover the cookie dough loosely and put into the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours. Preheat your oven to 350° and line 2 pans with parchment paper.
- Take the cookie dough out of the refrigerator and with a cookie scoop (I use a OXO Good Grips Cookie Scoop Medium add 12 to a pan. They do not spread too much so 12 will work.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes for the medium scoop at 350°, if using a small scoop cut back on time. Leave them on the pan after pulling them from the oven before moving to a cooling rack. Let them cool completely.
- Take the dark chocolate chips and microwave them for a minute. Stir and heat for another 30 seconds till completely melted. You can cut a tiny corner off a sturdy ziplock bag or use a small pastry bag and a little hole size tip to squeeze the chocolate on top of each cookie. I freehand the chocolate back and forth. Go easy on the dark chocolate; it does not take much for the taste.