18 September 2007

Black Forest Cookies

Ever had Black Forest Cake? So, so good. It's named for the region of Germany where the dessert originated, the Black Forest (found in the southwest area of the country). An area also world renowned for their cuckoo clocks! The cake itself is a lovely, light chocolate sponge cake with layers of Bavarian cream and sour cherries within, and oh yeah - usually a generous sprinkling of Kirsch liqueur on each layer of cake as well. A nice dusting of chocolate shavings on top. Yum.

That being said, I found a recipe online for Black Forest cookies and it definitely peaked my interest. I decided to make a ton of food for my sister Tonia, she and her husband just welcomed their 2nd child and probably would appreciate some home cookin' to just reheat when they're feeling too tired to cook. Among other goodies, I made these cookies. And I gotta say? Even though I had to use cherry-flavored dried cranberries (ah, the horror! Not even real cherries!) the cookies were very reminiscent of the cake itself. Even Katlyn, their 3-year-old, and her ponies (and dinosaurs) loved the cookies, as she so artfully represented in the photo below:

Okay, enough blathering. Without further ado, the recipe. Try them! Very easy cookie recipe, very unique and good results. These cakey cookies have a lovely milk-chocolate flavor, with big chunks of cherry and chocolate nestled within. Yum! All it's missing is the cream (and liqueur). I will definitely make these again.

Black Forest Cookies

1 (11.5-oz) package milk chocolate morsels, divided
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 (6-oz) package Ocean Spray Craisins,Cherry Flavored (or if you're rich or have them, use dried cherries instead)
1 c. pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped (and totally optional; I left them out for my dear Muzzy who can't have nuts)

Preheat oven to 350ยบ F.

Pour 3/4 cup morsels into an uncovered large microwave-safe bowl. Set remaining morsels aside. Microwave morsels for 2 minutes on high. Stir until chocolate is smooth.
Stir in brown sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla. Add flour and baking powder, mixing until thoroughly combined. Stir in remaining morsels, cherry flavor sweetened dried cranberries and pecans.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or until cookies are puffed and set to the touch. For a firmer cookie bake for 14 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

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