These unusual chewy chocolate cookies, rich in chocolate, have resinous overtones of rosemary, echoed by the pine and nutty flavors of pine nuts, and subtly teased by the tart/sour/sweet of the dried cherries. The basic chewy chocolate cookie recipe (without the herbs, nuts and fruits) was inspired by the “911 Chocolate Emergency Cookies” in Diane Mott Davidson’s Dying for Chocolate (Bantam Books, 1992). I especially like this combination of cookies with rosemary for holidays, and they freeze well. MAKES ABOUT 5 DOZEN 1 1/2-INCH COOKIES
• 12 ounces semisweet, bittersweet or a combination of good-quality chocolate
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 2 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
• 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 3/4 teaspoons salt
• 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
• 1 1/4 cups packed dark-brown sugar
• 3/4 cup granulated sugar
• 4 extra-large eggs
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 2 generous tablespoons fresh minced rosemary
• 3/4 cup pine nuts
• 1 cup coarsely chopped dried cherries
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter 2 baking sheets
2. Break the chocolate into pieces. In a double boiler or the microwave, melt the chocolate with 4 tablespoons of butter, stir and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat 8 tablespoons softened butter with brown and white sugars. Continue beating and add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and melted chocolate and mix until combined. Stir in flour mixture, rosemary, pine nuts and dried cherries, and mix until blended.
4. The dough can be covered and refrigerated at this point for up to a few hours, or the cookies can be baked immediately. Drop the cookies by the heaping teaspoon onto the baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake in a hot oven for about 8 to 10 minutes, changing baking positions halfway through the baking. The cookies should puff a little and flatten. Do not overbake them—they will firm up as they cool. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes and then remove onto racks to cool. Store these rosemary cookies in airtight containers for a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Susan Belsinger is the author of Not Just Desserts: Sweet Herbal Recipes (Paul’s Printing, 2005).
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