I had an opened bag of dried cherries that was slowly petrifying. I wanted to make something that would bring them back to life but I also wanted chocolate.
I could have replumped the cherries using steam or a double boiler (something I typically do for raisins before adding them to Oatmeal Raisin Cookies) but I wanted to add some flavor. I had a bottle of Cortas Orange Blossom Water that was ideal as cherries, oranges and chocolate go so well together.
The result was chewy cherries in a rich fudgy chocolate cookie with a delicate perfume of orange. Some pecans for nuttiness and the cookies were super delicious!
Fudgey Chocolate Cherry Cookies
1 ½ cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons Orange Blossom Water (I used Cortas)
1 stick unsalted butter
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 large egg
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate morsels
½ cup pecans, chopped
Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. with the racks in the upper and lower middle positions.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a microwave safe bowl, stir together the cherries and orange blossom water to flavor and plump up the dried cherries. Microwave uncovered on high until the cherries for 30 seconds to a minute. Stir and set aside. The cherries will slowly absorb the liquid.
In a double boiler over low heat, melt the butter. Add the chopped chocolate and the cocoa. Whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Let cool until barely warm to the touch.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the egg and both sugars until combined. With the mixer running on low, add the vanilla, then slowly pour in the chocolate-butter mixture. Beat on medium until well mixed, scraping down the bowl once or twice. With the mixer running on low, add the dry ingredients, then mix just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips, the pecans and the cherries along with any remaining liquid until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Divide the dough into large spoonfuls and roll each portion into a ball with your hands. Place the balls on baking sheets, spacing them evenly. Bake until slightly cracked on top and the edges feel firm, 14 to 16 minutes, switching and rotating the baking sheets about halfway through. Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack. Cool to room temperature before storing in an airtight container.