Tag Archives: cherries

Holiday Cookies: Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

It is officially the time of year for cookies.

I know, I know…one is entitled to make cookies any time they damn well please. But it seems to me that during the period of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas day, a person could make cookies every day of the week and not get stares from co-workers and the like.

This year, I have been bitten by the cookie bug, and I think that I will be making more than my fair share of the little treats, much to the joy of Tara’s coworkers and mine, and much to the consternation of myself. Consternation, because deep inside of me, I have this fear that I’m going to become one of those women who wear sweaters with Christmas trees embroidered on the front, beaming with pride without any trace of irony. Making an excess amount of cookies, I believe, can be the first step down that road.

This recipe is adapted from a “Holiday Cookies” periodical.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 cups APF Flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
  • 1/8 cup maraschino cherry ‘juice’
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons shortening

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixer, combine the sugar and butter and mix at a low to medium speed, until creamy. Add the egg, milk and vanilla and mix until thoroughly incorporated. At a low speed and the Flour and baking powder. Allow to mix together between 2-3 minutes.

Add the cherries and knead into the dough by hand. Pour in the maraschino cherry ‘juice’ and knead in slowly, only to the point where the dough looks marbled (some of the dough pink, the other basic cookie dough color).

Drop onto cookie sheets with a teaspoon. Place the cookie sheet into the oven (one at a time) and bake between 9 – 11 minutes. Allow to cool for 30 minutes after removing from the oven.

Meanwhile place chocolate chips and shortening into a small sauce pan and place over medium low heat. Allow to melt and stir until smooth. Drizzle the chocolate over the cooled cookies.

Makes 6 dozen cookies

tags technorati : Recipes Cookies Holiday Cookies


Blackberry-Cherry Pie

Blackberry Cherry Pie

I have a co-worker who has been an immense help of late. But when I tried to make him a pie to show my gratitude, I had forgotten to add a binder of some sort. I vowed to try new recipes and make sure that there was a recipe that was both edible and able to stand the scrutiny of people outside of my own circle. Of course I would have to make a “test” pie, before actually making the one meant for my co-worker. We in the Software QA biz call this “establishing a baseline”.

Here is the result of my test pie. As you can see, it came out very well. It’s sweet, to be sure, but ice cream or whipped cream (shown here) will cut into that very nicely. This is a great summertime pie.

  • 2 9 1/2″ pie crusts (I recommend Barbara’s, which I used here)
  • 1/2 lb black cherries (de-stemmed and pitted)
  • 1/2 lb bing cherries (also de-stemmed and pitted)
  • 1 lb fresh blackberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • grated zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch

Prepare the pie crusts. Fit one into a 9 inch pie tin. Set the other on wax paper. Refrigerate both for at least 15 minutes.

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cherries, blackberries, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, and corn starch. Fold in carefully but thoroughly. Set aside and allow to macerate for ten minutes. (the sugars will draw out a fair amount of moisture from the fruit). Bring out both pie crusts. With a slotted spoon, transfer fruit into pie crust. When full, top the pie with the second crust and press together with the bottom crust. Trim the excess pastry dough and poke several steam vents.

NOTE: At this point, I brushed some cream ontop of the pie and sprinkled some flavored sugar on as well. This was my own preference and is not needed to complete the pie. Some might suggest brushing the top of the pie with an egg white wash. Your mileage may vary.

Place pie in center of the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Lower the temperature of the oven to 375 degrees F, and rotate the pie 180 degrees. Continue to bake until the top is golden brown and juices start to bubble and steam out of the vents (approximately 30-35 minutes).

Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least one hour before serving.

Serves 8


Cherry Almond Tart

Cherry-Almond Tart

There are times when you want to bake because you’re hungry, there are times you bake because you’re inspired, and there are times you bake because it takes you to your happy place.

Finally, there are times you bake for all three reasons. Making this tart was one of those times.

Regular followers of this site understand that I love tarts. They’re relatively simple, yet seem to me so exquisite, so aesthetically pure. So when I came across a recipe for this tart in this months Bon Appétit, I knew instinctively that I MUST make it.

So I did, and it gave me an excuse to use my new camera as well.

Make sure you understand that you should use fresh cherries, not the frozen kind. That means you will be pitting them for about 20 minutes in order to have the requisite amount for the recipe. It is so worth it.

Crust

  • 1 1/4 cup AP flour
  • 1/4 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons (or more) ice water

Filling

  • 1 lb fresh sweet cherries, pitted and left whole
  • 6 Tablespoons Granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon AP Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon lemmon zest
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds (give or take)

To make the crust:
Pour yourself a glass of ice water. Put in several ice cubes and place into freezer for 10-15 minutes. This will make sense later.

Place flour, shortening, butter, sugar and salt into food processor. Pulse until its well combined, but not overly so (Prefereably you should see little balls of shortening and/or butter…it’s not a prerequisite, but it will igve you a flakier crust). Take glass of water from freezer and pour 2 tablespoons of ice water, sprinkle it on flour. Process until moist clumps form.

Remove from the processor, form into a ball and flatten it out. Wrap in plastic wrap and refirgerate for 1 hour.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface into a 12 inch disk. Place in a 10 inch tart pan with removable bottom. Fold in excess dough to create a double thickened crust. Place in freezer for ten minutes.

Line the inner crust with foil; fill with dried beans or pie weights and bake for 20 minutes, or until edges are set. Remove foil and pie weights, and bake until gold brown, about another 10 minutes. Cool completely.

To make the filling:

Line the bottom of crust with whole cherries.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour and cinnamon. Whisk in cream, egg yolks, lemon zest, orange peel, almond extract and salt. Pour over cherries in tart and top with sliced almonds. Bake in oven until set in center, roughly 40 minutes. Cool 30 minutes.

Serves 8


Cherries and Currants in the Snow

dessert

I altered this recipe found in the Feb 2004 issue of Gourmet Magazine
(Cherries in the Snow – p. 139) I served it to Tara last
night and I think it turned out fairly well. It’s a lighter dessert,
with each serving clocking in at about 160 calories (after I plated it ontop of some chocolate sauce).

The dessert itself is quite good, and although it is influenced by Chinese cuisines – specifically their almond gelatin desserts, it goes quite well with Mexican food, replacing the traditional flan.

Whipping the milk is the key to the dish, as it is through this that will give the milk the appearance of snow (The picture to the left does not do it justice).

For almond
snow gelatin –

  • Vegetable oil for greasing baking dish
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract

For
Cherries and Currants in Port –

  • 2 oz cherries (I used frozen cherries which worked okay)
  • 1 oz dried currants
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup Ruby Port

Make
almond snow gelatin –

-Lightly oil an 8-inch square glass
baking dish with vegetable oil, wiping out any excess with a paper
towel.
-Sprinkle gelatin over water in a
large heatproof bowl to soften 1 minute.

-Bring Milk and sugar to a boil in a
1-quart sauce pan, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then remove
from heat and whisk into gelatin mixture. Add almond extract and
whisk briskly until milk is foamy, about 5 minutes.
-Pour into baking dish and freeze 15
minutes (to set foam), then chill, uncovered, in refrigerator until
firm, at least 45 minutes.

Make
Syrup-

-Simmer cherries, currants, and Port in cleaned 1-quart heavy
saucepan, uncovered, until reduced to about ½ cup, about 10
minutes. Set pan in bowl of ice and cold water and chill in
refrigerator until syrupy, about 15 minutes.

Assemble
Dessert-

-Using a knife dipped in hot water, cut gelatin into 1-inch
squares. Remove squares from dish with a spatula and serve, frosty
side up, onto chilled plates. Spoon cherry/currant syrup over
squares.

Notes-

-Gelatin can be chilled up to 2 days ahead (cover after 45
minutes)

-Cherry/Currant syrup can be chilled up to 1 week, covered.