Friday, July 13, 2012

White Chocolate Cherry Almond Vanilla Cookies

Try saying that name three times fast..

I am quite happy to be posting my first recipe for this blog, and I think this one is a fantastic one to start with. Made for my father, who loves all things white chocolate, I accidentally bought big, plump, dried cherries the first time I went to make them instead of cranberries. For the record, I hate all things cherry, but I was pleasantly surprised how well they went with this cookie! I use a liberal amount of vanilla to give it a nice, smooth taste. 

3c. All Purpose Flour
1c. Light Brown Sugar
3/4c. Sugar
3/4tsp. Salt
1tsp. Double Action Baking Powder
1c. (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter (at room temperature)
2 Eggs (lightly beaten)
1 1/2tbsp. Vanilla Extract (increase or decrease per your desire)
1c. White Chocolate Chips
1c. Dried Cherries
1c. Sliced Almonds

OVEN: 350F
BAKE TIME: 12-14min

1. With an electric mixer, cream the softened butter, sugar, and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Turn down mixer and add eggs and vanilla until incorporated. 

2. Throw in the baking powder and salt and then slowly add flour by half cups until incorporated. Start with your mixer low when you first add each segment and ratchet it up once it is integrated. The batter should be quite sticky but not runny. 

3. Add chips, cherries, and almonds by hand, stirring with a silicone spatula (or whatever you have on hand). Feel free to add more of any (or all) to make a chunkier batch and then pop in the fridge to cool off for about half an hour. 

4. While dough is chilling, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (which I highly recommend investing in).

5. Use a spoon or, preferably, your hands and scoop out enough to make about 1 or 1.5 inch balls. I often roll them in my hands for a few quick seconds to make them spherical. These won't expand too much so you should be able to fit 12-15 per cookie sheet. 

6. Pop in the oven and set the timer for 12 minutes. Rotate the pan 180degrees at the 6 minute mark to make sure they bake evenly. For soft cookies (i.e. all of my cookies) check on them after 12 minutes. They should be golden brown and just begin browning at the edges before you take them out. Feel free to leave them in longer for a little harder cookie. 

7. Let them cool off for about five minutes before transferring to a wire rack (once again I highly recommend). If you don't have a wire rack, I sometimes just pull the parchment paper, cookies and all, off the pan and then set them on the counter. Take caution or there will be hot cookies on your floor. 

I find that these cookies store very well for a decent amount of time. If you want to get a little bit more fancy, grab some white Wilton melting chocolate or almond bark and microwave it in a small dish. Flip the cookie over, holding it by the edges, and just dip it far enough to coat the top. I didn't top these with chocolate because they were being shipped to Georgia!


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