Introduction: Cherry Garcia Cookies
I am addicted to Cherry Garcia. I've tried lots of other different types of ice cream and I've never finished off a pint quite as quickly as I do a pint of Cherry Garcia (except maybe some of the Starbucks flavors). I thought it'd be really fun to put those same flavors into something different. So prepare to break New Year resolutions; these are quite tasty.
I started with the dough from America's Test Kitchen and revised it slightly. I like this batter because it holds together really well and doesn't need to be rolled and refrigerated to keep its shape.
1 stick +3 tbsps of butter
1/2 cup of sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar (I used dark)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup dried cherries
2 tbsp sherry (you can use water instead, if you don't like to party)
1 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
1/2 of 8 oz brick of cream cheese
Step 1: Boil the Butter Then Slide in Sugar
If you are faster than me, preheat the oven to 375 now.
Take the stick of butter and simmer it on the stove until golden brown.
Sounds easy right? Well, I've screwed this up before.
I have overheated it (even though I had watched it), and got this burned precipitate at the bottom. On another of my attempts I undercooked it, which I figure is tastier than burning (though not ideal). This last time, I figured out that if I take a spatula once it's bubbling and swish the butter around somewhat vigorously the milk solids (foamy gunk at the top) will mix in well and it actually does take a golden color. If you get one of the other results though don't worry about it. This cookie dough is pretty invincible. If you get the burned milk solids don't stress about not putting any in the batter (just don't dump the whole thing in). I've made cookies where some got in and it wasn't noticeable.
Add your liquid gold butter to your mixing bowl and mix with the remaining butter (3 tbsps) until melted. My house is cold, I had to put it in the warm pan then add it to mix, but it worked just fine. Add in both sugars, the salt and vanilla to the mixing bowl with the butter. Whisk these ingredients together until they are smooth (mine was a little lumpy, but like I said, invincible).
Step 2: Whisk It Good.
To the mixture, add an egg and an extra egg yolk. From my understanding this makes the cookie more chewy. Now whisk the mixture until smooth.
Let it rest for about 3 minutes, then whisk it again for 30 seconds. Let it rest again, then whisk yet again. Oh, and do it again... and again.
Whisk then allow it to rest and whisk again at least three times. Usually I'm working on something else and forget so I probably do it more than three. You will notice the batter becomes lighter in color. I think this and the melted butter are what make this batter invincible.
This is when I preheat the oven to 375 and prep my cookie/baking sheet (I'm a slow cook.)
In the mean time, I sift the flour and baking soda. I don't know if it really needs to be sifted I just do it for good measure.
Also, plump your cherries. Take the cherries and put them in a microwave safe container. Put about 2 tablespoons of sherry (or water) over the cherries so it covers the bottom of the container. Microwave it about 30 seconds. Mix up your cherries add more liquid if necessary and zap them again. That should make your cherries somewhat rehydrated.
If you feel like it you can also pour out some chocolate!
I wanted to try to make those little chocolate chunks instead of chips. I didn't make pretty even ones like in the ice cream but it's different than having chips so I was pretty happy with the result.
Take about a cup of your dark chocolate chips and get it about 3/4 melted in the microwave. You do want to leave part of it unmelted so that your chocolate will be tempered (it won't get all weird and discolored). Mix in the remaining solid chocolate. If there are still chunks microwave no more than 5 seconds at a time and mix in remaining solids. Then pour your melted chocolate on a cold flat surface (stove top, cookie sheet, cutting board) with wax paper, parchment paper or aluminum foil on it. You could also use a nonstick pan, but I like seeing it spread out and cracking a nice big wheel of chocolate to bits. Allow chocolate to cool for at least 30 minutes. Put it in a plastic baggie and break it into bits :)
Step 3: Add the Goodies and Bake!
Once your tasty butter is nicely whisked and stable you want to incorporate the flour. No whisking this time! Now you just want to stir in the flour + baking soda until it is just combined (I can still see a decent amount of flour in mine at this stage) then do the same with your cherries, chocolate and about half the cream cheese block. Stir until just combined (I couldn't see flour but there were still swirls of cream cheese.)
The batter should be stiff and peaky and I needed to push it off the spoon with my finger.
I had wanted to get a creamy texture in the cookies, so I looked at the possibility of sour cream or cream cheese. I tried the same recipe with 1/2 a cup of sour cream. When I added it the batter became much more liquidy. It dripped onto the tray from the spoon. The cookies had a texture more like that of a pancake. It was good, but not what I was looking for. So I went with cream cheese.
I used a normal table spoon (not a measuring one) and dolloped out mounds of about 2-3 tablespoons onto my baking sheet with appropriate nonstick covering (silpats are great, but parchment paper works in a pinch). The cookies will be about 2-3 inches in diameter.
Bake at 375 for around 12-15 minutes. The peaks of your cookies should be browning (and maybe just a touch around the edges) but the centers will be nice and squishy. Let them cool for about 5 minutes before moving them, and enjoy!
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