Cherry Chocolate Chippers

cherry chocolate cookies recipe best easy make-ahead desserts

Cherry and chocolate – another classic holiday flavor pairing. You can freeze the dough for up to four weeks. And the cookies will keep for nearly two weeks on the counter in an airtight container – if they last that long. From “Cook & Freeze: 150 Delicious Dishes to Serve Now and Later,” by Dana Jacobi (Rodale, 2010).

This recipe originally appeared in December 2015 in a story, “Easy, make-ahead desserts for any holiday gathering.” See all our holiday baking coverage at nando.com/holidaybaking.

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 (16-ounce) bag dark chocolate chunks (62 percent cacao) or 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped pecans

3/4 cup dried tart cherries

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, use a handheld mixer on medium-high to beat the butter until it is fluffy, 3 minutes. Add the sugars and beat until well combined, 2 minutes. Mix in the egg and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until just combined. By hand, fold in the chocolate, pecans and cherries until they are evenly distributed in the batter.

To shape the cookies, roll walnut-size pieces of dough between your palms into balls.

For baking now: Place racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Flatten the dough balls slightly and place them 2 inches apart on ungreased light colored baking sheets.

Bake the cookies for 8 minutes. Rotate the pans, reverse their position in the oven, and bake 3 to 4 minutes longer for chewy cookies, or 6 to 7 minutes longer, or until the cookies are golden on top and just starting to brown around the edges, for crisp ones. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.

These cookies keep in an airtight container for up to 10 days.

To freeze the dough: Place the balls of dough on a cookie sheet and freeze until hard, about 1 hour. Transfer the balls of dough to a resealable 1-quart plastic freezer bag. To bake, thaw the dough in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Bring the dough to room temperature, then proceed with the baking instructions above.

Yield: 4 1/2 dozen cookies.

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cherry chocolate cookies recipe best easy make-ahead desserts