"Cherry Ruby Chocolate Chunk Cookies"
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon hot water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
3.1 oz. Chocolove Ruby Chocolate bar, cut into chunks (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Put out a stick of butter to soften. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
Unwrap a 3.1 oz. Chocolove Ruby Chocolate bar and cut it into chunks. You can do this with a knife if you want them more regular, or chill it and slap it on the counter a few time to make less regular chunks. I used a knife and made mine a little bigger than chocolate chips.
In a large bowl, put 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter, 1/2 cup white sugar, and 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar. Mix with a wooden spoon, or cream with a mixer, until smooth. Mix in 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon baking soda in 1 teaspoon hot water. Add to the batter. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix together.
Sift together 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar, and 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger. Gradually add the flour mixture to the batter and combine into a stiff dough.
Fold in the ruby chocolate chunks (about 1 cup) and 1/2 cup chopped dried cherries.
Use a tablespoon to drop balls of dough onto the cookie sheet. Bake at 350ºF for 10 minutes. Place cookie sheet on a cooling rack until cookies solidify enough to remove, then store in a container.
Makes about 27 medium-sized cookies.
This recipe benefits from Irish butter or grass-fed butter if you can find it. If you forget to put out the butter so it can soften, you can microwave for 30 seconds at a time until soft.
Cream of tartar is a white, powdery acid left over from fermenting grapes into wine. It makes a soft, chewy cookie with a tangy flavor. Combine with baking soda, it becomes a leavening agent: the acid and the soda bubble up with carbon dioxide, making fluffy cookies.
Ruby chocolate is bright pink with the creamy texture of chocolate, but it doesn't taste like other chocolate. It has a bright, tangy, fruity flavor. I used a Chocolove Ruby Chocolate bar (3.1 oz.) which breaks down to about a cup of chunks. You can use a different brand of ruby chocolate, but it won't substitute with a different color of chocolate. The flavor is unique and crucial to the recipe.
Dried cherries are sweet-tart. They contain fiber and a variety of nutrients. They add a little bit of "real food" to these cookies so they're not just empty calories. You could also substitute dried cranberries, strawberries, raspberries -- any "red fruit" should work. Just don't use something that's too sweet.
These cookies use three different sources of sour flavor (cream of tartar, ruby chocolate, and dried cherries) and four of sweet flavor (white sugar, brown sugar, ruby chocolate, and dried cherries) so the layers really play off each other. That creates a good balance so they are not too sour or too sweet.
When mixing the dough, it gets very stiff. This is a nuisance if you make cookies by hand, which I usually do, but it's worth the hassle. Once you get everything mixed and you're actually putting the dough onto the cookie sheets, it's quite well behaved. It forms firm balls that don't spread too much in baking.
Be careful not to overbake these cookies! They will seem very underdone when they come out. The tops should be dry and the bottom edges just starting to crisp, but they'll still be white and very soft. They will firm up as they cool.
I had two 12x12" cookie sheets and put 9 cookies on each, so I had to rotate them in batches. I put the hot ones on a cooling rack, still on the cookie sheet. When they were cool enough, I lifted off the aluminum foil so I could reuse the cookie sheet, and left the cookies on the table to cool further. They don't come off cleanly until after the chocolate cools enough to set.
These cookies came out spectacular, and it's hard to stop eating them. They're a great choice for parties, but if making them for a week's dessert, it may be challenging to avoid eating them all at once.
“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien