I can’t believe it’s week 12 of this year’s 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies. The past 12 weeks have flown by. Although it’s hard to choose a favorite cookie that I baked over the last 12 weeks, if my family had to choose it would probably be this one. It’s a soft, rich delicious chocolate cookie loaded with chocolate chips and tart dried cherries. It’s rolled in powdered sugar so there is a beautiful contrast between the crackled white outside and dark chocolatey inside.
I saw this recipe on Sweet Peas Kitchen and thought it sounded amazing. Christina found the original recipe in Taste of Home Fall Baking 2010. Black Forest is such a great name for a cookie. The name immediately conjures up memories of rich, delicious chocolate cake filled with cherries. And this cookie definitely lives up to it’s delicious name.
The original recipe calls for espresso powder, but I don’t like coffee. I don’t drink it and I don’t like coffee flavored candy or baked goods. I’ve tried using espresso powder in the past (it’s used to accentuate the chocolate flavor) but I didn’t like it because all I could smell when it was baking was the coffee. Nielsen-Massey sent me a selection of their extracts, including their high quality chocolate extract, so I decided to use the chocolate extract to boost the chocolate flavor instead of espresso powder.
I made the recipe twice because the first time my cookies came out too flat. The second time I left out the hot water and the consistency was better. I doubled the recipe because the original recipe made so few cookies it seemed more like half a batch of cookies. The second time around I used a tip Martha Stewart uses in her chocolate crinkle cookies. She rolls them first in granulated sugar and then rolls them in powdered sugar so that they come out very white. I also added more cherries and chocolate chips. My adapted recipe is below.
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2/3 cup cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1 teaspoon chocolate extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup dried tart cherries (1.5 ounces)
1/2 granulated sugar
1/2 to 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.
Melt butter in a second small bowl in a microwave or a small saucepan over low heat.
Add cocoa to melted butter, whisking until smooth. Stir in the eggs, chocolate and vanilla extracts, fully blending in each one before adding the next.
Stir chocolate mixture into flour mixture just until combined.
Fold chocolate chips and cherries into the dough until evenly distributed. Shape into generous 2 inch balls using a cookie scoop or a heaping tablespoon measure.
Roll balls in granulated sugar, then roll balls in powdered sugar (use lots of powdered sugar). Place on prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart.
Bake for 12 – 14 minutes or until cookies are cracked, yet still soft, do not overbake. (The look a bit uncooked even when they're done.)
Let cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack.
Here are my 12 weeks of Christmas Cookies all boxed up and ready to give away.
Thanks for baking/following along with me. I wish I could send one of these boxes out to all of my amazing readers. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!
This post is part of a 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies blog hog. Be sure and check out all of the fabulous cookies the other 12 weeks of Christmas Cookies bakers baked up this week.