dried fruit

Cherry Chocolate Cookies

Cookies February 2 082 Edited Cherry Chocolate Cookies

I would love to explain my absence by saying I have been sailing around the Caribbean. Or visiting the islands of the South Pacific. But no, I have been here all along. Watching my website crash (literally) and burn. But I think it’s back.

The website circling the drain was just part of the glory of the past three weeks. Somebody tried to steal my credit card. The hot water heater conked out. And of the 2o buildings that make up the complex I call home, only the exterior lights on my building have decided not to flicker on this week. At some point, all you can do is laugh.

Cookies February 2 099 Edited Cherry Chocolate Cookies

And wonder what the heck is going on. I had no sooner said just that when it came to my attention that I could blame it all on Mercury retrograde. With that explanation in hand, everything felt normal again. Which should probably say something (not flattering, I am sure) in and of itself.

The good news is we are down to less than 12 hours. At 9 a.m. tomorrow morning, Mercury turns direct. Even more good news is the oven never quit working, so I’ve got cookies. These rich chocolate cookies are studded with sweet dried cherries and chocolate chunks.  Just the combination to provide a little pick-me-up when nothing else seems to be going right. Enjoy!

Cookies February 2 093 Edited Cherry Chocolate Cookies

 

5.0 from 1 reviews

Cherry Chocolate Cookies
 
Author:
Serves: approx. 26 cookies
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1½ cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; set aside
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together for one minute.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition, followed by the vanilla.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and mix until just combined.
  5. Fold in the cherries and chocolate until dispersed throughout the dough.
  6. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 to 14 minutes. The edges will be set but the centers will be soft when done.

 

Triple Ginger Cookies {2013 Cookie Swap}

Triple Ginger Cookies 001 Edited Triple Ginger Cookies {2013 Cookie Swap}

It’s that time of year again. Carols are on the radio, twinkle lights strung up outside add a bit of warmth and light to dark nights, and I recently sent three dozen cookies across the country. Yes, it is time to share my recipe for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.

Last year, I baked Salted Vanilla Chip Oatmeal Cookies. This year, I sent a dozen Triple Ginger Cookies to Ashley at Savvy Table, Anisa at Whisk & Heels, and Trudy at Chocolate Castles.

In return, I received Chinese Five Spice cookies from Connie at Urban Bakes, Almond Snow cookies from Wanda at My Sweet Zepol, and Peppermint Chocolate Chipster cookies from Becca at Crumbs and Chaos.

I love that in addition to cookies, I get to discover six new blogs along the way. I also love the good that comes from 600 bloggers in eight countries baking cookies.

iPhone 086 300x300 Triple Ginger Cookies {2013 Cookie Swap}

This year, we bloggers raised $2,675 for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer through our cookie swap participation. OXO, Imperial Sugar, Gold Medal Flour, and Grandma’s Molasses matched our contributions for a grand total of $13,778. The money raised goes towards research into the development of less toxic, more effective treatments for children with cancer.

Did you know that less than four percent of the National Cancer Institute’s budget goes towards pediatric cancers? And 2/3 of these cancer survivors develop long-term effects, including secondary cancers, a result of treatments that first cured them? (See the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer What We Support page for these statistics and other information).

I’d also like to thank Lindsay at Love & Olive Oil and Julie at The Little Kitchen for hosting this whole shin dig. These big-time bloggers certainly do not need a shout out from my tiny space on the internet, but I do not take for granted the work that goes into organizing hundreds of bloggers across the globe. Thanks ladies.

And Happy Holidays to all of you!

Triple Ginger Cookies 013 Edited Triple Ginger Cookies {2013 Cookie Swap}

Triple Ginger Cookies {2013 Cookie Swap}
 
Author:
Serves: 40
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ⅔ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon(s) fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
  • ½ cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, stir together flours, ground ginger, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a small pan over medium-low heat.
  3. Remove from the heat once melted and stir in the molasses, brown sugar and fresh ginger. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. Add the beaten egg to the cooled molasses mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Slowly stir this mixture into the dry flour mixture.
  6. Fold the apricots and crystallized ginger into the cookie dough.
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
  8. Once chilled, shape the dough into half-inch balls and roll in turbinado sugar.
  9. Place the cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes.
  11. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

 

fbcookieswap2013 badgewhite Triple Ginger Cookies {2013 Cookie Swap}

Orange, Apricot & Carrot Quinoa Salad

9362993456 b1f78fa791 z Orange, Apricot & Carrot Quinoa Salad

The universe is all the time playing tricks on me. All the time. Not that I don’t think the universe or whatever power may be has nothing better to do than mess around with the direction of my life, but seriously, some days I’m just like now how why did that creep up? This post, as you are about to find out, is one of those things.

A recipe for orange, apricot and carrot couscous had sat in a pile on my desk for close to five months. I finally got around to making it this past weekend. I reread the post it was from this evening. In it, Kate of the Cookie + Kate blog shares her experiences with online dating. There are people in this world who just laughed out loud.

You see, there was no way I was going to write about this. At all. Period. The end. Not going to talk about it. But then I read that post. And I had nothing to write about except…well, I have decided to give the online dating scene a try.

For quite some time now I have asked the universe to get its act together on this front. Seriously, I had witnesses the last time I expressed my demands of it. And the whole time I have spent demanding I have also been feeling nudged to give the online thing a whirl. Martha Stewart’s online dating most certainly added fuel to this fire.

9362993582 6ff0c4bbda z Orange, Apricot & Carrot Quinoa Salad

Despite broadcasting every willy-nilly thought in my head out into this space over the past two years, I would still describe myself as fiercely private. I prefer to listen and observe. Getting me to talk about myself or what is going on in my life on a regular basis is like pulling teeth. This does not bode well for my potential dates.

So the gravitational pull I felt towards this recipe at this time in my life could be one big practical joke. On the other hand, whatever led me to Kate’s post could be trying to tell me that going this route is really not that big of a deal. Frankly, it could mean nothing at all.

Just like a date, this quinoa salad is best when hot. I’m kidding! (But only sort of.) The salad is good warm but also just fine when it is chilled or at room temperature. It makes for a good side dish and tops off a spinach salad quite nicely. Given it was made with orange juice, I have even enjoyed it for breakfast this week.

Granted, a bite of red onion at 9 a.m. is a bit on the surprising side, and when followed by a swig of coffee, one might argue downright unpleasant. But that’s sort of the fun of it, right? Trying things you never thought you would. Like a bite of red onion for breakfast. (Or online dating.) Enjoy!

9363111846 3f6b974bfa z Orange, Apricot & Carrot Quinoa Salad

Orange, Apricot & Carrot Quinoa Salad
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • ¼ extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar plus 1 teaspoon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 10 dried apricots, thinly sliced (1/3 cup or so)
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ medium-sized red onion, finely sliced or diced (about ½ cup)
  • 1 medium carrot
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, orange juice, olive oil, one tablespoon of the vinegar and salt.
  2. Bring to a boil, then stir in the quinoa, apricots, raisins and ginger.
  3. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the quinoa appears done (tiny white spiral threads appear).
  4. While the quinoa cooks, rinse the sliced or diced onion under running water.
  5. Next toss the onion with the remaining one teaspoon of vinegar in a small bowl. This will mellow the flavor of the onion.
  6. When the quinoa has completed cooking, use a vegetable peeler to peel the carrot into ribbons over the dish.
  7. Fluff with a fork and serve either warm or chilled.