Thursday, February 28, 2008

Chocolate Cherry Chunk Cookies (with a side of thanks)

We have wonderful neighbours. They are always watching out for us and have a sincere concern for the well being of us and our home. It's such a good feeling knowing that when we go away we don't have to worry about anything.

As I mentioned before, it snowed here the other week, big time. I really had never seen as much snow in my whole life and being a girl from Alberta, that says A LOT! During the insane snowfall we were busier than usual (unlike the majority of our town who refused to step outside, we're fairly accustomed to this type of weather.) We were essentially gone from dawn to dusk everyday and considering it had been snowing 23 out of the 24 hours a day, when we get home, the snow in our driveway and walkway was literally 4 feet high.

Of course neither one of us would have minded doing a little shovelling after a hard days work but it would be more likely that we would have payed the kid down the street a couple of bucks, if only he was interested in braving the crazy weather, but he wasn't, at all. So, naturally it would have been impossible for us to even get into our driveway, except for the fact that we have wonderful neighbours.

Everyday after the crazy downfall, our neighbour Paul went out and shoveled our driveway and a little path so we could get into the door. He also did the same for our neighbours across the street and of course for his own home. Paul has done this for us a few times now and of course we've never asked him to, he just wants to help us out. So, I wanted to make Paul and his wife a little thank you and I happen to know they love chocolate.

I love the double chocolate cookies I've talked about before but I've been interested in trying this chocolate cookie recipe from Joy of Baking for awhile. I also wanted to jazz them up even more but I never know who has nut allergies so to be on the safe side, I went with dried cherries. I wish I had the time at the moment to make our neighbours a beautiful gift basket and in fact, when I get some time I'm I sure will. Afterall, there is nothing better than a great neighbour and it's so important to appreciate that.

RECIPE (is a slight adaptation, courtesy of Joy of Baking):

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (110 grams) light brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) white granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (140 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 cup (30 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped finely

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. First sift together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt and then add to the butter and egg mixture. Mix just until incorporated. Fold in the the chocolate chips. Gently fold in the dried cherries.

Using a small ice cream scoop or two spoons, place about 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter on the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.

Bake for approximately 8 minutes or until the the cookies are still soft in the center but are firm around the edges. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes before removing the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 24 - 3 inch round cookies.

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